Updated: November 20, 2020 07:18 AM
Created: November 20, 2020 07:16 AM
(ABC 6 NEWS) - When Minnesota schools closed back in March and went to distance learning, it was a big adjustment for everyone. One local history teacher is trying out new ways to reach his students and their parents.
Jeff Fague is a 7th-grade history teacher at Kasson-Mantorville Middle School, and this is his 30th year teaching. Telling the stories of the United States changed for him when Mr. Fague asked a question, not to his students, but their parents.
"How many of you liked history when you were a student," Fague said. He asked that question on the bus while he was a chaperone for a Washington D.C. trip. "And only a handful of them raised their hands. And when I asked them why they said it was so boring. You have to remember dates and times," Fague said. So from there, he thought, how can I change this?
"There are such great stories out there, and I thought if I can focus in on that, maybe I can get the kids and parents hooked on history," Fague said.
Mr. Fague now tells the stories to his students in his "story chair", and it is something the kids have come to love. Fague said, "One of the reasons I like to do this is it shows the kids that I love to learn, and I want them to leave my class, maybe they don't like history, but if they love the learn then I've done my job." This Fall, Fague heard his students and kids talk about Tik Tok, and he thought, "I could probably put on a video there, although I didn't realize you had to limit it to one minute that's hard for me."
From reading and listening to podcasts to help him learn how to turn history into a story and learning how to use Tik Tok, Fague said, "Taking my knowledge and try to share it a different way. And it's challenging, and it's fun for me." Mr. Fague puts his stories on both Tik Tok and Youtube, so current and former students and parents to listen.
"Even being, I'm just going to say, a Veteran teacher... it's fun to know there are different ways and more learning that goes on especially this year," Fague said.
To him, "If we all continue to strive to learn new things about things, maybe we aren't comfortable with at first how much we grow."
Mr. Fague says he chooses his stories by following a few things, he follows along with what he is teaching in class, and if the students enjoy the story, he decides whether or not to create a video. He also makes videos if he does not have time for the story in class. This is just one more tool for Mr. Fague if classes ever move back to distance learning.
You can find his Tik Toks on the app under the username "Jefffague" and his Youtube videos here.
Copyright 2020 - KAAL-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company