When her school decided to delay in-person classes until after Labor Day, one teacher took it as a chance to make the most of distance learning. Cathy Cluck, an AP U.S. History and AP European History teacher at Westlake High School in Austin, Texas, got the green light from her principal and hit the road for what she calls her “Great American History Road Trip.” Since August 21st, she’s been doing remote learning classes from historical landmarks across the country.
Each day, Cluck greets her students over video chat from new locations where the history she’s teaching them actually took place. She’s traveled around three thousand miles to hit sites like the Lincoln Memorial, the spot where Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton met for their deadly duel in New Jersey and Gettysburg before she returns to the classroom for in-person learning this week.
Cluck says she came up with the idea for her lessons from the road after trying to figure out how to make this school year interesting and fun for her students. She thought if she taught history from the places where it actually happened, maybe it would make them log in to see where she is each day. And while remote learning may not be ideal, it did allow for this unique opportunity, Cluck explains, “This is something I’d never be able to do in a normal school year.”