Kristen Ross has been teaching at Norwell High School for nine years and is still finding unique ways to teach her favorite class, government. In 2017, she took her students to the inauguration of President Trump. “I really enjoyed watching the students interact with the various monuments and museums in D.C. and watching their faces as history happened right in front of them…Furthermore, the fact that they came back to school and began to apply that experience to their schoolwork was really exciting for me,” she states.
It was especially fulfilling for Kristen to have her students engage with real-world politics since her biggest challenge is making history and government class relevant to them. “It can be hard to get students to see the value in learning about the history of the world or the U.S. government system, so I work really hard to make connections between what happened in history and what is happening now,” she says.
Kristen’s biggest inspiration is her fellow staff at Norwell. She speaks highly of her co-workers, who are always there for both her and her students. Her favorite topic to teach is the formation of different government systems. “My students and I spend a lot of time discussing what it takes to establish and maintain a strong democracy, and those discussions tend to form the foundation of what we talk about for the rest of the semester,” Kristen states. She likes to emphasize the essential role that citizens play in the American form of government, believing that “democracy can’t survive without citizens that consistently utilize their right to vote.”