I have always been curious about history as the story of people and their lives. Childhood visits to living history museums sparked my imagination, as did reading. It probably helped that my father was a history teacher and poet, so that the power of words to bring the past alive was apparent early on.
The appeal of history has never been about memorization or isolated facts, but rather exploring the lives of those who came before us, through their words, belongings, or the events they experienced. Teaching offers me the opportunity to engage with the subject while also developing relationships with my students and sharing my curiosity with them. They motivate me to know my material better, to look for the larger themes and questions, and to constantly continue to explore. They also make me laugh on a daily basis. Outside of school, I have two young children who are the most curious people I know, and whose quest to know and to understand allow me to see the world through fresh eyes.