Thurgood Marshall Academy has a new history teacher this year: Ms. Naomi Gamoran will be joining the Social Studies Department as the World History I and Psychology teacher. Though Ms. Gamoran is new to the Social Studies Department, she’s not new to Thurgood Marshall Academy. She served as an Academics Associate during the 2013-14 school year through Avodah, a Jewish Service Corps, after graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2013.
Avodah, an AmeriCorp-style program, places recent college graduates in high-impact organization that fights the causes and effects of poverty. With an interest in education and academics, Ms. Gamoran found a placement in Thurgood Marshall Academy as an Academics Associate. In this role, she provided support to teachers, and planned academic-related events – such as Thurgood Marshall Academy’s first annual STEM fair in April 2014. “Avodah allowed me to gain experience working in a school beyond classroom teaching. I was able to see the entirety of how the school operates,” Ms. Gamoran says of her experience. Her year-long Avodah commitment reinforced what she already knew about her goals: “I always knew I wanted to be a teacher, even though I didn’t study education in college.” She chose to study history “because I love the subject. It’s the story of humanity. You can’t understand the present unless you understand the past.”
Avodah volunteers typically spend only one year with the organizations they serve. But Ms. Gamoran knew she wasn’t ready to leave Thurgood Marshall Academy: “it’s such an incredible school,” she says. “There’s a wonderful support structure for faculty and staff, impressive peer support, and a lot of energy in the building. There are high expectations for students, and I couldn’t imagine leaving after just one year.”
Ms. Gamoran hopes that, as a history teacher, she’ll be able to share her passion for the subject with her students. “I think a lot of students believe history is boring – they don’t understand why it’s important to learn about what happened in the past. And if you present it that way, it can be boring,” she admits. “As a history teacher, I want my students to be able to make connections between the past and the present.” She’s most excited to teach her students about the Renaissance and Reformation: “I love all things British history, and they are a major component of that.”