When you think of seventh and eighth grade history class, you probably think of textbook-heavy lectures. But that’s certainly not the case in Becca Canfield’s class.
In the back of Canfield’s classroom are neatly lined textbooks that have rarely been opened. Instead, Canfield enjoys using interactive activities to teach her lessons. Her classes have participated in reenactments of the Boston Massacre with paper balls in place of snow balls that were hurled at British soldiers.
She relates lessons to real life situations, such as comparing the Declaration of Independence to a break-up letter—as in the United States was dumping the king.
“I’m teaching the future generations ... and so I want them to be educated on the past and know those stories, and how we got to this point,” Canfield said. “And then they get to help write the next story. So I want them to know the past, and also know how they can shape the future.”
Her classes heavily rely on classroom discussions, most recently the recent impeachment inquiry. This practice teaches students to have opinions based in reason, she said.
Canfield has been an educator for 11 years — nine in Woden, and two at Fredonia Hill Baptist Academy. But teaching wasn’t always the plan. Canfield grew up wanting to be a lawyer, and loved law and research. After receiving a degree in law, she decided not to pursue law school. After serving as a student instructor at SFA, she found teaching was her calling.
She credits other teachers and women mentors from her church as her biggest influence in the teaching profession.
“The idea of them taking time to care about me and to listen to me struggle through life. I think that’s one thing as a teacher that I wish I had more time with is to sit back and chat with the kids and get to know what’s going on in their lives outside of the classroom and school” Canfield said.
Approaching a decade at Woden, Canfield credits the Woden community and her team of teachers for coming back year after year.
“I love the community. I love that I’m teaching brothers and sisters and whole families and getting to see and really get to know the parents. I love the traditions of Woden,” Canfield said. “Our junior high and our principal, we’re a cohesive team. It makes coming to work, even on the bad days, a lot of fun.”