Teacher Spotlight: Emily Glankler
Emily is an AP World History & Contemporary Issues teacher at Anderson High School, where she also serves as a social studies instructional coach. She is the creator of the podcast Anti-Social Studies.
Remember how you used to ride around in the backseat of your parents’ station wagon and beg them to stop torturing you with NPR because why would anyone want to listen to Carl Kasell drone on about current events when they could be listening to top 40 radio… except then you realized that actually the radio is a fantastic way to learn about stuff and now you will continue to torture future generations with NPR until they, too, grow to love it?
Point is, when it comes to learning, audio is a powerful and often-overlooked medium, especially today, when it sometimes feels like podcasts are the last bastion of [information + entertainment – garbage]. Enter Emily Glankler, teacher and instructional coach at Anderson High School, and her awesome history podcast Anti-Social Studies. Of its inception, she says, “I originally created it for my friends who had always talked about how they wish they had paid more attention in history class. But then I realized that it could be a really great way for my kids to review content before the AP test! So it’s not geared specifically toward students, but I’ve had a few kids mention that they like that it’s just ‘for fun’ and not about writing essays or something.”
She’s getting at something here. As adults, we do find it fun to learn new things, and we will often seek out new information whether or not there’s some academic outcome associated with our learning. Knowledge is power, after all, but we know plenty of students who would more closely associate knowledge (or at least the process of attaining it) with torture. When it comes to igniting a love of learning – in this case about history, a class you probably fell asleep in at least once in your life – providing opportunities like Anti-Social Studies, where students can choose to enrich their learning in their own space, at their own pace, and on their own path, is essential.
Oh, and Emily’s not wrong when she says it’s a great listen for adults, too. So check it out, whether or not you teach social studies.
-Jack McGavick, Technology Design Coach