American Teacher: Adventures in the Classroom and Our Nation’s Capitol

Douglas Graney, High School Teacher


This essay originally appeared in the Political Science Educator’s Fall 2017 issue.


American Teacher‐Adventures in the Classroom and Our Nation’s Capital chronicles a career as a social studies teacher. Starting first in Connecticut and upstate, N.Y. you will read the struggles of a young teacher learning his craft in different public and private, rural, suburban and small town schools while also searching for meaning in America and American history.

After arriving in Fairfax County Public Schools the author immediately took advantage of nearby Washington, D.C. for

This essay is part of the Political Science Educator: Editor’s Reading List

field trips, guest speakers and in many other ways exploiting D.C. for the betterment of my students. The field trips would exceed one‐hundred during his career as well as half as many guest speakers.

Exploiting D.C. would ultimately lead to the author to create the largest intern placement program in the U.S. as his Political Science students invaded Capitol Hill (and other offices) every spring.

American Teacher also discusses current education topics (many of which I find dubious), political commentary and the voices of students and parents who contacted the author over the years sometimes for good reasons, sometimes not. Major historical events are seen through my eyes and the eyes of my students including the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion, many elections presidential and otherwise, 9/11, the Iraq War including pro and anti‐war demonstrations, the immigration battles over the years, race issues and the election of Donald Trump.


Political Science Educator: Editor’s Reading List presents select PSE articles from the previous 15 years. APSA Educate is please to announce it will feature all future Political Science Educator‘s issues.

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