Mr. Pankaj Sharma, 2016 Fellow
Niles North High School | Skokie, IL | U.S. History, Government, Civics, Mordern African and Latin American History
Understanding that history can feel distant and predictable, Mr. Pankaj Sharma uses primary sources and discussion to imagine what the people during those times would have felt as events unfolded. He has a genuine enthusiasm for history and an authentic concern for his students, which is apparent in his classroom. Students engage in passionate discussions, with reflection and analysis of historical and contemporary topics. Sharma creates an atmosphere of respect for issues, each other and themselves. Whether in a mock presidential debate or an essay on a historically based movie, students are given the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge of real life issues. When students fail to complete work to expectations, they are held accountable, but given a second chance to succeed. He also has built a culture around humanitarianism and social justice efforts. He runs the WHO (We Help Others) group as a community service and activism club for students, along with organizing an annual student dance marathon that has raised more than $87,000 for a selected local charity.
The Transformative Power of Teaching by Pankaj Sharma
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