Northwest Now: Rhonda Watton has progressively gone away from relying on textbooks to teach her social studies students at Templeton Middle School, relying most on primary accounts of history to teach, a method that has earned her the accolade of Wisconsin’s History Teacher of the Year.
Watton has been a teacher for 25 years, beginning in the Milwaukee Public Schools in 1992 and spending the past 20 years in the Hamilton School District.
Her love of history was sparked by college professors at Carthage College in Kenosha.
“They made history come alive for me; it really was interactive classes and they had different ways of presenting the material,” Watton said. “Some of it was through literature, some was through film and plenty of discussion.”
This teaching style struck Watton so much as a student that she made it her own as a teacher.
“The use of primary source documents in the classroom and not just teaching out of a history book, which is someone’s secondary source interpretation of what went on, is important,” Watton said.