I earned my BA in History from Temple University in 2005, and my Masters in Secondary Education from Temple in 2006. Currently I am a United States history teacher and Department Chair at Olney Charter High School in Philadelphia, PA. While I chose the more traditional path of a history major, to become a teacher of history, my journey and experiences have been extraordinarily non-traditional. As an undergrad at Temple, I first explored my passion for teaching history by participating in a Teach America History program. Through this program I was able to go to an area middle school and teach students about the history of their neighborhood. I came to realize that not only did I love history and historical research; I also loved to inspire students to get excited about history. From there I applied to the exceptional five-year teacher certification program offered at Temple. Because of this program I was able to begin my graduate courses in education as a junior in college, and to graduate with my M. Ed. just one year after receiving my BA in history.
I immediately began working as a social studies teacher for the School District of Philadelphia, which I did for four years in a neighborhood high school. From there, my love of history and culture took me to Thailand for a year, where I taught English as a foreign language. Because of my studies in cultural anthropology and world cultures at Temple, I always wanted to go abroad to experience a culture other than my own first-hand. That year was one of the most meaningful years of my life, and I would not have done it without the curiosity and thirst for knowledge instilled in me as a student at Temple. When I came back from Thailand, I began working at Olney Charter High School. Because of the excellent preparation I received in both my undergraduate and graduate programs at Temple, I was considered for and awarded the position of Department Chair of the Social Studies & World Languages Department. When I first began teaching, this was my ultimate professional goal. I am proud and humbled to say that today, in my ninth year of teaching, I am living my dream.
I do not exaggerate when I say that my professional dream came true because of my time at Temple. From the relationships I made at Temple, I have been able to form a partnership between the Temple History Department and my school. My department continues to learn from the incredible and diverse staff of the Temple History Department. The professors of history at Temple are truly amazing. When I think back to the varied, rich, and challenging classes I took at Temple, I am so grateful. I wholeheartedly believe that studying history at Temple cannot only whet your appetite for historical knowledge; it can also spark a lifelong curiosity of world events while preparing you for a career you love.
Jessica Gallant Louie
Social Studies & World Languages Department Chair
Olney Charter High School