The student news site of Clayton High School.

The Globe

The student news site of Clayton High School.

The Globe

The student news site of Clayton High School.

The Globe

Getting to know AP World History teacher Donna Rogers-Beard

I became a teacher because… I was always picked as the kid to play the teacher. From the time I would play outside with other kids and we would play school, I was always the one picked to play teacher.

History is just as important as math or science because… it’s a subject that you use to decode the world that you live in, to understand the formula for what’s happening around you and to have a better handle even on the future.  It’s something that I definitely believe you use, just as you use math.

When I was in high school, I loved to… read.  Read, read, read, read, read.  I read primarily historical fiction, biographies and the classics – Robert Louis Stevenson, Victor Hugo, Faulkner, Steinbeck.

AP World History teacher Donna Rogers-Beard (Paul Lisker).
AP World History teacher Donna Rogers-Beard (Paul Lisker).

If I could get on a plane right now and go anywhere… well, see, it’s unfortunate you’re asking a grandmother, so I would go to see my grandchildren.  And then get on a plane with them off to a fun place…. I went to Istanbul over spring break.  I’ve been to a couple of places and it truly was the most fascinating city I’ve ever been in.  An incredible number of layers of history, still there, and it’s just everywhere.

My greatest fear is… that the Tea Partiers are going to get control of America, and you can put that down!  Whoa!  That’s my greatest fear, yes.  I think for the most part they’re selling fear. They have an extremely superficial understanding of what it means to be a citizen of a country and what this country is all about, and the world, and the interconnectedness of people.  They remind me of any extremely, extremely conservative group throughout history that’s been in the way of progress.

The last song that was stuck in my head was… because of Phoebe Raileanu.  It was “Life is Coming Up Roses,” which is the music from “The Sophie Tucker Story.” She’s got a part in the play, and I loved Sophie Tucker when I was a kid, and she and I went off on that tune and it took me several hours to get it out of my head.

The most important lesson that I’ve ever learned… is that life is hard.  Life got hard.  After having had a very easy, predictable life, in my early thirties life took an unexpected turn.  And I read a book called “The Road Less Traveled,” by Peck, and it begins with “Life is hard.” And if you understand that, and accept it, then whatever you’re going through, just know that, “Hey, I’m supposed to be that way sometimes, and I’ll get over to the other side of whatever’s going on,” and it did [for me], it happened.  Life is hard.

When I stop teaching… I’m going to be teaching until I die.  I’m going to donate my body to science, and hopefully there will be a lot to learn from examining it.  So I’ll never stop teaching.

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Getting to know AP World History teacher Donna Rogers-Beard