For some, studying history conjures up images of dusty documents piled high in the library stacks or a professor's book-filled office. How many of us can recall history courses where we studied fistfuls of flashcards before the exam, doing our best to memorize a litany of dates and what seemed like arcane facts that we quickly forgot?
Some of us were fortunate to have truly inspiring and talented teachers who made history come alive, who taught us how to think about our collective past as a way to understand where we are in life now, and where we may be headed. The 19th-century English poet Percy Bysshe Shelley wrote, "History is a cyclic poem written by time upon the memories of man." Richard Canedo has spent a lifetime helping his students understand just that.
Richard Canedo has taught history his entire adult life, currently at a charter public school in Boston. He lives in Pawtucket with his wife and children.