Jennifer Danielson, world history
World History teacher Jennifer Danielson always has a new story to share. From historic discoveries to skydiving, concerts, random injuries or any other adventure Mrs. Danielson went on in between school days, AP World history class never starts with a dull moment. The energy continues into class with her clear love of history and the creative assignments she assigns.
Every day she gives different types of assignments and the time to do most of it in class, which allows for us to enjoy the class instead of worrying about how much homework we’ll have later. We rarely have lectures, and instead learn the information through readings, projects or historical simulations. The simulations are these games we play in class that let us experience the facts like we’re living it. There was a World War I game, where the class was split into various countries, and the goal of the whole class was to not start war. We went around in timed sessions to make treaties and try to keep the peace.
My class ended with all of the other countries turning against my group’s country, and it came down to declaring war against all of the fictional Europe or being invaded anyway. We declared war. The game allowed us to experience why World War I happened, and how the tension built up until this dramatic breaking point.
My favorite of the simulation was the Genghis Khan trial. I was a defense attorney, and our goal was to have a jury of teachers rule that Genghis Khan was not a bad person. We had a couple weeks to put together all our research, with everyone working together so that their side would win the trial. The trial took place in the lower LGI and we presented our case. My side lost again, but it was fun anyway. The whole class was able to learn so much about the Ottoman Empire, while still having a good time as a class.
When we don’t have time to do a project or some other activity, sometimes Mrs. Danielson sits us all down and gives us a fly by or quick overview of events in a story format that helps the events of the time period make sense in my mind instead of just dates on a paper. She makes sure everyone learns no matter what their learning style is.
She always meets students where they are, and is always willing to work with students. Throughout the year, I’ve faced various issues. Earlier this year, I got a concussion, and Mrs. Danielson took the time on the Monday I came back to talk to me about it, and offered for me to work in the hall, was very accepting with extensions and understood that I wasn’t fully involved in class because I was having trouble staying focused, rather than just not putting in the effort.
When I went to region for academic team, we had a test the Friday we were leaving. I asked to take it during first period before I had to get in the car and leave, and she was completely willing to let me take my test during her conference. She’ll also take the time to personally grade the practice DBQs if you ask. She always wants to help her students in whatever way she can.
I always feel safe in her class, and even when we have to do presentations or engage in class in ways I don’t usually like doing, but in her class, it’s just the normal thing that everyone does, instead of a daunting task. Mrs. Danielson has made AP World History an unforgettable year.