Teaching world history: from StudentsFriend.com

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Student's Friend

(Comments may have been edited for clarity and brevity.)

Aug. 2016, C.B., new teacher, Texas

After agonizing all summer over my approach to teaching World History for the first time, I stumbled across your website and praised the almighty....I would love to be put on the waiting list for the new book.

Aug. 2016, Matt, AP history teacher, North Carolina

I am using your website as a resource for my classes and it is fantastic. I wish there were more resources as user-friendly as your site.

June 2016, Tom, homeschool teacher, Florida

I have struggled to accept any of the history teaching texts [I've seen] as sufficient to properly teach history, as I want my children to learn from it. I salute your project here; it is outstanding.

Aug. 2015, Jen, learning academy administrator, North Carolina

Thank you for all that you have provided on your website (a tremendous resource).

April 2015, Lawrence, department chair, Rhode Island

Recently, we started building a website for our students' use, and I am interested in the materials you have created and collected...Thank you for all your efforts on behalf of your and others' students.

Sept. 2014, Roy, veteran teacher, Honduras

I am a retired history teacher from Tennessee, and I am doing misson work with children in Honduras.  I just discovered your wonderful website.

Aug. 2014, Liz, homeschool teacher, North Carolina

It is 2:12 am, and I have just discovered your site.  I could cry with relief!  You have saved my daughter and me from an agonizing year.

Aug. 2014, Tanya, online teacher, Idaho

Thank you for all your hard work and making your content available for free.  It is well done, and I appreciate the integrity with which you have put the Student's Friend together.

Nov. 2013, Sara, private school teacher, Kentucky

I have really enjoyed using Student's Friend in my classroom this year.

March, 2012, Diane Keith, publisher, ClickSchooling

A terrific online resource that engages students in learning, so bookmark the site to return again.

Dec. 2011, Brian, English teacher, Pennsylvania

Recently I came across your site and read your piece on meaning in teaching and felt I found a kindred spirit. When you try to teach everything, you actually teach nothing. Thanks for your site.  It's a great inspiration and has helped me with my own treatise on teaching.

Aug. 2011, Tim, new teacher, North Carolina

I want to truly thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your hard work with other teachers.  I am astounded at how valuable it is and truly thank God that I found it. Your articles and your book are so helpful to me.

April 2011, Ryan, first-year teacher, Texas

I wish I had discovered your great resource earlier in the year, but better late than never. I plan to use it to help students build up and review knowledge and connections in preparation for the AP World History exam. I will also likely use it early and often next year.

     It's great for students of history to be able to absorb well-written small chunks to start to get that big picture before being overwhelmed with the details.  The Stearns textbook I used this year ate my students' lunch (the ones that even read it).   

Jan. 2011, Doniel, student teacher, Illinois

I am a student teaching World History this semester for seniors and experiencing a lot of student resentment over the fact that I expect learning to occur. Your website has saved my life! I may actually make it through student teaching! THANK YOU!!!!

Dec. 2010, Joel, new teacher, Iowa

I am a first-year teacher, and World History is such a hard class to teach. After the first semester, I feel like I accomplished little. The textbooks we use are just all over the place, and my students are struggling.

     I found your website and knew that Student's Friend was the way I need to go second semester but I didn't know how to do it. The study guide completes the puzzle. Your study guides are AWESOME!! Your essential questions are great. They are loaded, important, thought-provoking questions. I felt like I was doing an injustice to my students. Now, I can get them to think! Thank you so much for what you do.

Dec. 2010, Tefel, veteran high school teacher, California

I really love "Student's Friend." This is the second year that I have used it for my World History class and I've found it provides a wonderful pace and framework for my class. My students really appreciate it, too! For many years, I have felt dissatisfied and sometimes quite aggravated with traditional textbooks. When I found your site, I knew right away that this was how I wanted to teach my class. You have certainly proven the maxim: Less is sometimes more.

Nov. 2010, Ferryn, department chair, Texas

I’ve just stumbled upon your website.  My student teacher left it open on the desktop.  I haven’t had a chance to read everything but I just had to say Wow! I totally agree with everything you have said about teaching and I think it is an incredibly altruistic and unselfish thing to share this with teachers. Way to go!

Sep. 2010, Keith, software developer, Washington state

I was looking for a one-page summary of world history, and I found your Four Eras of History timeline. I’ve always loved charts that compress a whole body of useful knowledge into one page that is easily digestible and visually appealing. Your Four Eras chart is a masterpiece.

Sep. 2010, Fred, 15-year teacher, Oregon

Just wanted to say thanks a bunch bunch for your website. I really enjoy reading it and it has given me great ideas on how to keep students interested in history. Now when students ask, "Why do we have to do this?" I have better answers for them, and often times I even convince them that history is fascinating and worth learning.

Oct. 2009, Eduardo, teacher and grad student, Hawaii

In a masters level course, Teaching for Social Studies, we have been assigned to write up an annotated syllabus for a one-semester course. I needed help with structure, and after much scattered information, [finding] your website comes as a relief.

July 2009, Julie, 3rd-year teacher, New York state

I just stumbled upon your great website while doing summer curriculum work and am thrilled.  What a wonderful resource for new and veteran teachers alike! Thank you for creating this wonderful site.

June 2009, Julie, college curriculum developer, Montana

I am working on a teacher's resource guide for tribal history project materials that were developed by the seven Montana tribal colleges. Could I include your essay rubric, illustrated timeline rubric, multi-media presentation rubric and your seminar directions in the resource guide? Your resources are stellar!


March, 2009, Samirah, homeschool teacher, Yemen

I am American but currently living overseas. I have children entering the high school level in our homeschooling, and I am planning on using your material more consistently now as a full course. I just wanted to thank you for your hard work and for sharing it with others...resources like this make the job much easier. As it is difficult to find/buy educational materials here  (and expensive to have them shipped), I truly appreciate your offering this for free via the web.

Jan. 2004, Carol, university instructor, Kentucky

I am planning use your wonderful text again this semester; my students raved about it. They felt it dealt with interesting and necessary topics without trying to give them too much information. They enjoyed the opportunity to discover things for themselves and to challenge conventional thinking....Thanks again for your insight and commitment to learning.

Dec. 30, 2003, Mike, new teacher, Tennessee

STUDENT'S FRIEND is the single most innovative approach I've seen to teaching in some time...Your approach of removing the unnecessary details and keeping those things that make world history and geography interesting are what makes STUDENT'S FRIEND incredible. It allows the students to absorb a particular theme, reflect on it, and make a judgment call on what might be in the future. The unnecessary details aren't there to clutter their minds.

Sept. 21, 2003, Becky, teacher, Alaska

Thanks for putting together the World History/Geography website. I am not a social studies teacher, but I had to teach it last year. I did not have textbooks, but found this website, downloaded it and used it for the entire year. Thanks for the extra information such as the worksheets and tests...I was able to modify it for my students. I learned a lot also. We finally found the textbooks and used them as resources when we needed them. Thanks again; you saved my school year.

Aug. 27, 2003, Brian, department chair, British Columbia, Canada

Absolutely a super site--I'm glad I stumbled upon it. I applaud your efforts on behalf of Social Studies--a "real bringing it all together." As Department Head, I will introduce your site to the other Social Studies teachers in my school...The Educational Faculties of History and Geography Need Voices Like Yours. Keep up the good work.

Aug. 25, 2003, Dan, teacher, Utah

Thank you for your site and for all your work!! I used the Student's Friend last year in my world history class and it was very helpful. I recently downloaded the new version and really like the changes you have made.

May 2003, Michael, teacher, New York state

The year is coming to an end, and I've used the Student's Friend for the first time and with great success so far....I've enjoyed using your materials, and have even shared them with another teacher from a neighboring district that is teaching Global History in summer school.

April 2003, S.K., technical college teacher, Wisconsin.

Hello! I visited your site and am soooo pleased to see the very valuable information provided there! Thank you for supporting and being a resource for other teachers out there!

Jan. 2003, Dan, veteran teacher, Arkansas

I'm a big fan! I'm a leftover from the sixties; can hardly stand the idea of just putting in my time. I'm at 30 + years in the classroom. It's still the greatest! However, kids need to learn to think and read for themselves. The "canned" approach most textbook companies throw at us leaves little room for that. Keep fighting the fight!

Jan. 2003 C.D., private school teacher, Texas

I have downloaded and copied everything I could get my hands (or printer) on!...I am so in line with your teaching approach. I have already incorporated many similar ideas in the classroom this year, and the students are actually learning and caring about what they have learned. What a concept, huh?

Oct. 2002, Jim, five-year teacher, North Carolina

Thank you for your generous offer to help so many of us out there in the "trenches" of world history....I applaud you and your work....You are providing a great resource.

Oct. 2002, Ann, homeschool teacher, Indiana

I am a homeschooler getting ready to embark on teaching history to 5 of my kids. This is an excellent site! It presents history and geography in a way that I have never seen. I can't believe all the events, people, and areas that you have covered. I am very happy to use the information here to educate all of my kids! You are an answer to homeschooling a tough-to-teach subject. You are absolutely amazing!!!

Sept. 2002,  John Fischer, IDEAS Project Director, University of Wisconsin

Your education resource...has been linked from the IDEAS Portal website. IDEAS is a searchable database of high quality education resources for Wisconsin's PK-16 education community. Thank you for providing this resource!...Thank you for your commitment to high quality education.

Sept. 2002, Marilyn Tickner, Project Representative, Gateway to Educational Materials, U.S. Dept. of Education

Your link is great!

Thanks for all you do for educators, Mike.

You are a treasure!

Aug. 2002,  Curtis, teacher, Ohio

I am a World History teacher who is always looking for innovative teaching strategies. This web page is the best I have come across.

Aug. 2002,  Sarah, teacher, North Carolina

This is a great site.  I wish I found it the beginning of the year....I shared your site at a teacher-training class offered at North Carolina Central University in Durham, NC....If you ever develop an overview for American History, please let me know.

Aug. 2002,  Marjan Glavac, author, The Busy Educator's Guide To The World Wide Web

Congratulations on your wonderfile site: studentsfriend.com. You did a great job on this site. Well done!

July 2002,  Robert B. Townsend, Assistant Director, American Historical Association

I really like the design of your site.

July 2002,  A.S., information technology executive, California

The knowledge gleaned from your work was immensely powerful. I've forwarded your website to several friends as a "refresher," and you will be happy to know we have started several conversations on world events.

July 2002, Frieda, first-year teacher, Colorado

You are my hero....I have been struggling so hard with this (history teaching) because my background is math and science. The idea of teaching from our text made me sick....I found your website tonight and couldn't believe what it contained--just what I needed! Thank you. I plan to use your material as much as I can. Thanks for your hard, hard work and for sharing it.

June, 2002, John, former business executive and new teacher, Florida

I wish to express my gratitude for the labor of love called the "Students Friend" and the generous sharing of your experiences, researches, thoughts and philosophy about the teaching of historical perspectives and so much more....I found, like yourself, that when I started (teaching) I brought a commercial/industrial background to subjects that seemed to be taught in a pedantic, boring, and empty manner by "experienced" teachers. I've just found your site and feel at home with all your work....Keep up the work Mike; there are teachers out here that are looking, listening, and learning from your site and will be better for it!

April 2002, Matt, second-year teacher, Minnesota

After viewing the Studentsfriend website I just wanted to tell you thank you and say how deeply impressed I was with the content and structure of the site. Your words of encouragement to new teachers was inspirational and comforting, especially knowing that I am not alone with the challenges and difficulties....So, for the inspiration and direction, I sincerely give my thanks. You are a great teacher.

April 2002, Mark, teacher, California

Thank you for a fantastic resource! It's refreshing to see some collaborative, real world, and useful teacher's resources posted on the web. I look forward to using this guide in my 10th grade world history course and my AP world history course as well.

April 2002, Ross E. Dunn, San Diego State University, former president of World History Association

I was mightily impressed by your website.

April 2002, Peter N. Stearns, George Mason University, former V.P. of American Historical Assn.

Looks very good. Very intelligent synthesis.

Feb. 2002, Corie, first-year teacher, Texas

All help is deeply and greatly appreciated. I have found your website to be very helpful in condensing a somewhat overwhelming amount of information into a manageable two-semester rendition. Thank you for all the time and effort you have put into this site.

Jan. 2002, Justin, one of my Colorado high school students

Wow, here I was thinking that the web address at the bottom of the Student's Friend was just a joke, and here I am finding it is an actual website. It's pretty nice actually, and if you ever do get around to putting final exams on the site will you let me know? It could be quite helpful. See ya in class.

Jan. 2002, Kiri, returning teacher, Pennsylvania

I just want to THANK you, wholeheartedly, for creating and offering the "student's friend." I like the idea of having a carefully chosen framework which can then be brought to life in a variety of ways. Thank you for the clarity, simplicity and collegiality of your text and site. Finding it felt right away like arriving "home" after a frustrating journey through, well, bells and whistles [and] weighty, cumbersome texts (limited in vision as the Cyclops) Your alternative makes so much sense it's scary (scary good).

Jan. 2002, Wendy, homeschool teacher, Texas

I am a home schooling mom of a high school freshman, and have downloaded and printed your course, and wanted to congratulate you on a great job.

Oct. 2001, Andrea, five-year teacher, California

I want to thank you again for helping me SO much this year with the Student's Friend....I also want to thank you for the research paper. Your clear directions are perfect for my students, and I look forward to reading their papers. I hope that more teachers find your website and take advantage of the great gift you have given high school history teachers.

Aug. 2001, Dan Deneen, veteran teacher, Vermont

Your site is well-organized, and your writing is excellent and clear. What you're doing with your "Students Friend" is very interesting, and generous.

Please excuse the advertising; it helps pay the bills.

© 2001-2016 Michael G. Maxwell, Maxwell Learning LLC

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