Ron Frankland, Middle School History Teacher
"I have learned so much from my students because of their inquisitiveness and joy of learning. I am excited every day, because not only do I challenge my students to become better humans, they challenge me too."
What motivated and inspired you to teach?
I had many inspirational teachers, and professors, throughout my academic career that inspired me, and pushed me, in ways that shaped who I am, and why I chose to become a teacher.
Why are you excited to come to ESD every day?
My fabulous Superstar Scholars inspire and excite me every day. I have learned so much from these students and have grown as an educator because of their inquisitiveness and joy of learning. I am excited every day, because not only do I challenge my students to become better humans, they challenge me too.
Beyond your subject-area or discipline, what life lesson do you want your students to learn in your classroom?
I do hope my students become lovers of history, but more importantly, I hope they leave my class as better humans. I adore my students and think each of them can, and will, change the world. I hope through our enriched class discussions, Socratic Seminars, self-reflection, and continuous wondering they leave my class as future change makers in our society.
Tell us a fun or interesting fact about yourself!
I love music, especially artists that have a positive and inclusive message. Logic, 2Pac, Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, and David Bowie are just a few of my favorite artists. I also try to attend Coachella each year, unfortunately, I missed this year’s event. Thank you, YouTube and live-streaming!
What is your favorite book and why?
I have many favorite authors that range from Michel Foucault to Becky Albertalli. My favorite book written by a historian is Esther Newton’s book Cherry Grove Fire Island: Sixty Years in America’s First Gay and Lesbian Town. She conducted oral interviews with gays and lesbians who lived in Cherry Grove, New York between the 1920s and the 1970s. I love her work because she exposed the common perception that LGBTQ oppression was ubiquitous pre-Stonewall, by presenting the narratives of an LGBTQ community that lived openly in the first gay-controlled space that also celebrated their culture. I am also a fan of Becky Albertalli’s book Simon vs. the Homosapien Agenda, which tells the story of a gay teenager in high school. The book's message of inclusion and acceptance is something I hope all of my students experience in my class and our community at ESD. Albertalli’s book is essential because it tells our LGBTQ students that it “does get better.” This book is something that I wish I would have had as a middle school student.
If you could have dinner with three people, alive or not, who would they be and why?
Hillary Clinton, Shirley Chisholm, and Harvey Milk – three political revolutionaries’ that broke the glass ceiling in their own way.