Rick Elston Guilford HS

Rick Elston, who teaches Ninth Grade Honors World History and 9th-12th grade AP World History, has been teaching at Guilford High School for 17 years. Rick says, “As much as you learn in college education courses and the hours of observation and finally the student teaching experience, nothing prepares you for teaching your own classes.” “I tell my students that success in school and life starts with showing up and working every day.” “The number one goal of all teachers is to have all students reach high standards and expectations. That starts with the teacher. If the teacher has high standards and expectations for themselves, the students will follow their example. I really try to set the bar high, and then I have to work with each student to not only reach the standard for class, but to then set their own bar a little higher.“ Rick stresses, “it is great to understand and appreciate the differences of others but [I] also focus on what we all share in common. Social studies courses allow … opportunity to discuss issues like race, class and gender in different times and places. This provides a springboard and context to discuss these issues as they affect society, and our students, today. Some of these discussions are uncomfortable, but we always follow the rule that it is OK to disagree without being disagreeable. I try to provide a safe space for students to develop, share and expand their ideas about each other and themselves.”