Dave Marshall '07
Position: High School Teacher
Thesis Title: “Perils of Modernization: The ‘Revolt of the Lash’ in the Brazilian Navy, 1910”
Studying history at Harvard prepared me for my career teaching high school history in several concrete ways. First, my slate of history classes – particularly the history tutorial sequence – greatly improved my writing. Second, I gained a deeper appreciation for history thanks to the passion and expertise of professors like Michael McCormick and Caroline Elkins. Third, the history department's flexible requirements let me take related classes like Ec 10, Sociology of Race, and Comparative Politics in Latin America with Steven Levitsky (one of the best classes I have ever taken) – each of these classes deepened my understanding of the past in different ways. Lastly, studying history at Harvard afforded me one of the most rewarding experiences of my life – studying abroad at PUC-Rio de Janeiro in Brazil during the summer and fall of my junior year. Not only did this opportunity give me the chance to research and write my senior thesis – easily my most challenging and satisfying academic pursuit ever – but it also broadened my world outlook and stoked my interest in international travel.
After graduating Harvard in June 2007, I taught European History at the Punahou School in Honolulu, HI for a year as part of the fabulous Mentoring at Punahou (MAP) program. This unique program allowed me to learn the craft of teaching by giving me a reduced course load and a personal mentor. After that, I was fortunate enough to get a position teaching 10th-12th grade history at Marin Academy in San Rafael, CA, where I have been for 5 years now. Whether I am teaching my students the nuances of writing, passing on anecdotes from my lively college professors, or teaching a senior elective on Brazilian History, I draw on my top-notch Harvard history education on a regular basis.