Helping learners find the
"so what" in Social Studies

I offer individual and group classes for teens who...

  • LOVE social studies and want to take a deep dive into topics

  • HATE social studies and think it's boring or pointless

  • LOVE to search for the why when they learn, or who need context when they study

  • HATE a cookie-cutter approach to learning

  • LOVE seeing the "big picture" of a topic

How are my classes different?

  • I help students make connections, which facilitate deep understanding.

  • I respect a student's individuality and encourage the formation of informed opinions.

  • I have experience working with "twice exceptional" students and work to meet a student where they are. 

More about who should take my classes


About Me

I am a lifelong teacher and a lifelong learner. I am passionate about helping middle and high school students find meaningful connections within the social studies. I strongly believe that learning happens more easily when students see how events, people, beliefs, and actions are connected to each other and to the student. I encourage students to question and to dig deeply when they are fascinated by a topic. 

My favorite subjects are American history, government, human geography, and current events.I have a BA in History, Political Science and Secondary Education, and a MA in American Studies. As a graduate student, I was thrilled to be chosen to create and teach a course on the evolution of dating in America. I taught in public school, and have spent the last 20+ years mentoring and teaching college women leadership skills. As a mom to two "twice exceptional" kids, I'm also well-versed in accommodating learning differences and guiding students to develop their passions.

Click here to check out my blog for more about how and why I teach.

Classes I Teach



In Person

(all STAC classes are online until further notice)

  • U.S. History "Read and Discuss" using "These Truths" by Jill Lepore: Using "These Truths" as our spine, we will explore the complicated story of how the U.S. was born and how it has grown. Class will be discussion based, and highly interactive. Great for 2e or gifted students who like to talk things through. 

  • Current Events in Context: There is so much more to current events than just reading the news! In this ultimate mash-up of social studies, we discuss today’s news with an eye to the history of the situation and a look at the potential connections in both the present and the future.

  • Current Events in Context: U.S. Government Edition: Learn about how the U.S. government works through the lens of current news stories. 


  • American Foreign Policy Simulation: Using interactive materials developed by the experts at the Council on Foreign Relations, students learn about the tools of diplomacy and the role of the National Security Council by taking on the role of a member of the NSC, advising the President of the United States about how the country will respond to a realistic international situation. Classes are highly interactive and involve a mix of history, research, current events, and foreign policy as students prepare for the simulation. The course culminates with students role-playing as members of the NSC, providing the President with their best recommendations for how the US should respond to the situation at hand.

  • Directed Independent Study (individuals or small groups): I will work with your student to design a self-directed study of a topic they find interesting, using books, documentaries, movies, and videos. This could be as broad as a traditional American history class, or far more targeted. They will be primarily accountable to me and to themselves, in weekly meetings grounded in discussions of what they have learned and the progress they have made. A final project (or several small projects) will be individualized to your student’s strengths. Together, we will write a course description suitable for use on a high school transcript.

  • American Artifacts: A growing list of one-time classes built around an individual artifact in American history. Students learn the significance of the item or event and the impact that it made on history. Current topics include Buttons, the Cable TV Box, the Golden Spike, and the Pony Express.

  • American History (available for the 20-21 school year through Space, Time and Community in Marietta, GA): A survey of major themes and events in the history of the United States from the Revolutionary War to the 1990s. The class encourages students to develop a broad understanding of American History and to think analytically and methodically about America, and to cultivate an understanding of the relationship between politics, economics, values, art, literature, and racial, ethnic, and gender identity in America.


  • American Government (available for the 20-21 school year through Space, Time and Community in Marietta, GA): A look at the major components of the United States government that will include: philosophy of government, the branches of government, campaigns and elections, political ideology, the bureaucracy, the court system and civil rights, and foreign policy.

  • World History and Culture Through Art (available for the 20-21 school year through Space, Time and Community): If aliens studied art and artifacts on Earth, what would they learn about human culture? Middle and high school students can take a trip around the world and through history and reach conclusions of their own. The class will conclude with students curating an exhibition of art and artifacts that they feel best explain human history. Thursdays from 3pm-4pm, via Zoom. 


  • Human Geography (not currently being taught in person; can be modified for a specific interest or for an online group): Geography is in everything and everything is in Geography! This class examines how humans interact with the world around them. This includes studying population and migration. culture, religion, ethnicity, and language; political organization of space;  agriculture and rural land use;  urban space use; and industrialization.

Who Should Take My Classes?

  • Any teen who loves social studies and who wants to take a deep dive. Do you have a child who yearns to know the “why” when they study? Have you seen them light up when they make connections between topics? Do they like to talk through subjects in which they are deeply interested? I can listen and I can guide!


  • Twice exceptional students. My classes tend to be "high input, lower ouput." Tests and long research papers don't necessarily give the best indication of what a student has learned. Instead, I glean how much your child is learning through their contributions in discussion. We do a fair amount of reading, but I can assist with finding the right text to speech platform or help find some other way for your child to access the reading. They’ll gain a lot of information in a meaningful way.

  • Students who learn better when they see the "big picture." When memorizing dates and names seems pointless, some kids will engage when learning about big trends, themes and connections. I can work with those students!


What Happy

Students &

Parents Say

Darby is the first teacher I've had that did not make me feel stupid for asking a question. 

S.B., student


Let's Chat About How I Can Connect With Your Student

Tel: 765-721-1208 / Email:

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