This week’s feature-a-teacher is Marianne Boe, Social Studies department chair and one of our social studies teachers.
How long have you been teaching here?
This is my first year at Regina and I am delighted to be here. I was at another all-girls’ school for 16 years. I loved my students and their families, but there is no comparison to the sense of community and caring here at Regina.
What have you found most rewarding in your first year teaching here?
The incredible warmth of faculty and administrators welcoming me into the community has been a blessing.
How does the all-girls aspect of Regina Dominican influence your teaching?
I have been a litigation partner in a large Chicago law firm, a Vice-President in an international corporation, and also have taught at Northwestern University. Nothing I have done professionally has given me the joy of teaching young women to become confident, active citizens of the U.S. and the world. My motto is “Real women speak up!” I want every one of these young women to find her voice and the confidence to use it.
I understand your World History Class just finished a play on the “Black Death” – can you explain this a little more?
Using different modalities to teach is key to reaching all students. Plays are one way to get students engaged in their own learning. They have a chance to see how history affected individuals and it becomes more meaningful than “dates and dead people.” In this play, students saw the Plague from the viewpoint of various people in Medieval Europe and how it changed their lives.
Your World History Class is discussing Human Rights and your US History Class is currently comparing the Civil War to conflicts in our country today. Can you reflect on how today’s world is shaping your class discussions?
History is a meaningless study if we do not connect it to the attitudes and behaviors the students deal with today. World History compared the rights in the Magna Carta to the human rights the students believe all people should have today. They learned that even in our country rights are not absolutes and that most countries have far more limited rights. In U.S. History, it is important for students to see that although conflicts have divided our country both in the past and currently, we are united by common basic values that transcend partisanship. By analyzing conflicts and looking for their own solutions, these young ladies will be equipped to be great citizens that strengthen our nation.
For the holidays, your classes will be writing letters as a part of Amnesty International’s campaign on International Human Rights Day. Can you let me know why this is important?
Regina students are caring young women who do a tremendous amount for their communities. I recently spent a Saturday working with our young women as they painted an underprivileged Catholic grade school in Chicago. By getting involved with this annual letter-writing campaign to celebrate International Human Rights day, they will see that they can make a difference in the world as well as locally.
Is there a favorite time in history you enjoy teaching the most and why?
That’s a very difficult question! There are so many things that we can learn from history and they all help us to better understand the mindset of people today, wherever they live in the world. My AP European History class just finished the French Revolution. I find it fascinating because it shows how people with the very best of intentions can become selfish and how the search for power can corrupt.