Stephen Andrews, BHP Teacher
New Jersey, USA

So, imagine that you’re in a department meeting and your supervisor casually tells you that you’ll be teaching a new course next year…one that covers 13.8 billion years of history in one 180-day school year. You would probably freak out. I know I did at first! I’ve taught the same course in the same way for over eight years, so I felt I knew the ins and outs of European and American history like the back of my hand. The idea of broadening my perspective and “zooming out” to look at civilization from its inception was overwhelming, to say the least.

Once I took the time to work my way through BHP’s online PD course, Teaching Big History, I quickly realized that all my trepidations were unfounded. After watching David Christian’s initial TED Talk in Session 1, I was hooked. Throughout the next six PD sessions, Michelle, Jillian, Jenny, and a host of other BHP experts guided me from threshold to threshold, proving to me time and time again that it was not only possible to complete this 13.8-billion-year journey — it was also going to be a whole lot of fun.

The History of Our World in 18 Minutes, David Christian at TED

In the time since I’ve completed the online PD course, I’ve had the pleasure of attending an in-person BHP PLC on causation and agency, which featured a video conference with Bob Bain. I’ve also spent time perusing all the incredible ideas shared by other teachers in the online Yammer community. I cannot wait to start teaching BHP during the 2018/2019 school year! I have a feeling it’s going to be awesome.

About the author: Stephen Andrews will begin teaching BHP as a seventh-grade course in fall of 2018. He’ll have two 60-minute sections daily, with about 30 students in each.

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