Survival Tips for Teaching a Subject You Hate - History Gal

Survival Tips for Teaching a Subject You Hate

by History Gal
Want to know a secret?

Just because I'm a Social Studies teacher doesn't mean I love every subject that falls under the category of Social Studies. In fact, when I began teaching, I had an intense dislike of World History!

My first job was my dream job - teaching all U.S. History classes. Then, my husband and I moved to a different state. I found myself teaching, of all subjects, WORLD HISTORY! I had to figure out how to teach a subject I hated without making my students hate it, too.

1. Figure out why you don't like it. In my case, it all went back to a horrible teacher. In fact, the word HATE doesn't even adequately describe the feeling I had towards the subject after I completed the required 10th grade course. So it wasn't the actual material covered in World History, but its presentation that led to my dislike of the subject.

2. Get creative and think outside of the box. What will get you excited about teaching the material? If you are excited, your excitement will transfer to your students.

3. Accept help. It's extremely time consuming to create a brand new curriculum from scratch. Don't try to do it totally on your own. Accept lessons, ideas, and suggestions from veteran teachers. Go online and search for lesson ideas. Check out sites like Teachers Pay Teachers for quality freebies and paid products.

4. Start small. It's simply not practical to make every single lesson creative and fun. If you try, you'll burn out. Realize that your curriculum is a work in progress. It won't be perfect year one (or year 15 for that matter!) and that is OK!

5. Give yourself a break. To maintain your sanity, you need to take a break every once in a while.  Let the students watch a movie and compare/contrast it to what really happened or let your students teach each other. After a short break, you'll be ready to go again!

Want to know what happened after my first few months of teaching World History?
I realized it was a ton of fun to teach and it became my favorite subject to teach!

Whether it's World or U.S. History that is currently the bane of your existence, I have lots of freebies that will help as you head back to school or even if you are already knee-deep in the school year. Here are a few of my favorites:

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  1. Great tips! I always loved World History and US, but hated Government! I still feel the same! ;)

  2. I agree that there are always some topics we just don't enjoy teaching and that's totally your tips, especially starting small, great post! ~Stephanie

  3. You are so right!! Excellent tips! We have all been there. My first year, I was asked to teach A.P. Government. I was 22 & didn't even watch the news. I hated government! Well, I learned to love it after several years & 10 years later, I teach 6 government classes! You have to find a way to teach it whether you like it or not. Sometimes if you are lucky, you learn to really enjoy it like I did!

  4. Started laughing as soon as I saw your title...that's how I feel every time I teach early US history. Except for the constitution I just can't get into it. Love all your suggestions and have definitely turned to others for resources to inspire. Thank you for sharing.


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