Mr. Woolfry

posted Dec 3, 2009, 9:03 AM by Jeremy Poehnert   [ updated Dec 3, 2009, 9:19 AM ]
Since this site started as a school project, I might as well start this with one of the many teachers that have influenced my life.  Mr. Woolfry taught my 11th grade AP American history class, and is, to this day, one of the best teachers I've ever had.  He didn't do anything too flashy, too glamorous, but I loved the class, and I learned a lot of history.

That class was the first time I ever thought I might be smart.  Until then I had been a B or C student, with occasional flashes of A's.  But my 10th grade English teacher (I'll feature her later) saw something more in me, and when I transferred to a new school for 11th grade the school decided to give me a chance in AP History.  I was terrified and intimidated, but when I got into class, it was awesome!  Mr. Woolfry's style was simple and clear; it was the perfect fit for me at the time, and he really created a place for me to bloom as a student (I've wilted quite a bit since then).  

Looking back, incomplete memories make me think that Mr. Woolfry was probably conservative but the class also played a major role in my movement towards being liberal.  As much as possible we studied history as it was, without blinders, and I learned a lot about the injustices in American history.  I still remember how angry I was when I read about the the Japanese internment during World War II, I did my literary paper for class on Uncle Tom's Cabin, I was really impressed with the women who fought for suffrage, and I sympathized with exploited factory workers.

But I don't want it to seem like the class was biased...like I said, I think Mr. Woolfry was conservative.  As a class we studied history, with it's successes and failures, and the overwhelming focus was on developing an understanding of the complexity of history, and how it shaped where we are today.  I'm sure other students heard the same lessons I did, and went conservative...what Mr. Woolfry did was make history engaging an meaningful, and what we did with that was up to us...
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