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The History of Cavanah
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Monday, March 11, 2019

Our Spotlight this week is about Mrs. Cavanah

  1. What is your favorite thing about being an educator?

My favorite part of being an educator has always been the “light bulb moment!” I love when students figure something out or connect ideas. Their faces can literally appear to light up as they figure it out/connect it. Seeing your students be successful is something all educators desire.

  1. What is the thing you like the least about being an educator?

Being an educator was something that I always felt I had a calling for since I was young. I had amazing teachers here at Dawson, and they inspired me to become an educator myself! My least favorite aspect of being an educator is that it takes me away from my amazing daughter, Amelia! I sure miss those baby cuddles when I am away.

  1. What are you and your students doing in class right now?

My 8th grade U.S. history students just finished a project about the Lewis and Clark expedition through the Louisiana Purchase. Some created a museum exhibit with artifacts from the journey, some created a travel presentation about one destination on the journey, one group created a board game that traveled down the path of the expedition, and another group made a Lewis and Clark movie trailer. In my 7th grade world civilization class, we are working through the various dynasties of ancient China. My career choices classes are currently learning how to budget and about personal finances.

  1. How do you keep your students engaged? Or, what is your students' favorite part of the activity?

All history teachers have heard the words, “This happened so long ago! Why do we have to do this?” Teaching history is not just teaching facts; its teaching why all of this matters. I try to always provide connections for my students between their lives and history. I try to find videos with songs concerning the events we are studying for us to listen to and get stuck in our heads! I also keep my students engaged by providing a variety of activities that require students to work in pairs, groups, and individually.

  1. What challenges does your current activity present for you and your students?

For my eighth graders, the most challenging part would be learning to work with people you don’t normally work with due to the fact that I randomized the groups. Everyone wants to work with their friends, but we have to learn how to work with different people. For 7th graders, the most challenging part would be understanding how other cultures, especially ancient cultures, can be so vastly different than what we are used to and shock us in the ways they ran their societies. For my career choices classes, I think it would be realizing how much adult life costs, and how to balance your wants and your needs.

  1. What is your greatest accomplishment so far this school year?

My greatest accomplishment so far this year and every year is simply seeing my students reach success. No matter how small of a success it might seem, it can mean the world to a student who has been struggling.


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