A teacher at Oak Grove Middle School in Jamul recently received
national recognition from the group that organizes the National History Day for
his work with the local version of the annual event.
Greg Spielman, who teaches eighth-grade history, received the
nationwide Patricia Behring Teacher of the Year Award last month at a ceremony
He was selected for the award from the nominees from each
state as well as representative from the District of Columbia, Department of
Defense schools, International schools, and U.S. territories.
Along with the honor and recognition, he also will get a
$10,000 prize to add to the $500 he won as a state finalist.
“He is a very enthusiastic teacher who exemplifies the best
our younger generation of teachers has to offer,” said Janet Mulder, a trustee
in the Jamul-Dulzura Union School District who nominated Spielman for the
award. “The students of Jamul are so lucky to have such a strong dedicated
educator teaching them to be critical thinkers and actually ‘do’ history under
Organizers picked winners in both the junior and senior
levels based on their development and use of creative teaching methods that help
get students excited about history.
Spielman described his history class as “a myriad of
activities of project-based learning which allows for student choice and
affords the opportunity for authentic assessment.”
“Students are required to engage in active learning,
construct their own understandings, apply what they have learned, and to share
and communicate their findings and learning to an audience,” he said. “They do
the work of historians, geographers, and economists on a daily basis.”
Spielman also runs a History Day Club at his school that
meets weekly after school.
Photo: Jim Dowling, Jamul-Dulzura Union School District trustee, congratulates Greg Spielman recently at the 8th-grade graduation ceremony at Oak Grove Middle School.