Elizabeth and Kevin Marsh
The History Department's PFF program provided us the opportunity to have our first solo teaching experience be with a small group of motivated students, rather than with a large introductory level course. Our faculty advisor was supportive and offered us constructive feedback on the content and our performance both during the creation of the course and throughout the semester we taught. This was especially helpful because we taught our course backward: we started with the present and worked back to colonial times. Not only did it make our topic, immigration history, more relevant to our students, but it also forced us to continually re-examine the material we were presenting to them. The PFF class gave us the advantage of having our fellow graduate students and our faculty advisor critique our syllabus before we gave it to our students. The PFF program also gave us the opportunity to experience the terrifying first time teaching with a sort of safety net that allowed us to take chances and build our confidence before we have to teach as new hires at another school. We highly recommend the two-course sequence, Teaching U.S. History H593 and H594, to all students in the American field.