Yevgenia Arutyunyan Upper School History
Upper School History Teacher and Department Chair
Joined Country Day: 2000
Education: BA in history and Hearst Teaching Fellow, Davidson College; MLA, Wake Forest University Classes taught: World History I, Honors World History II, World Religions, International Relations
The more I teach, the more I want to be in the classroom. But I also like teaching outside the classroom and taking students on trips abroad to places like Italy, Chile, Russia, and China. There is something magical about teaching what we learned about Qin Shi Huang Di and his rule while standing on top of the Great Wall of China!
I love modeling for young people and showing them my passion for world history. I do this by providing anecdotal historical information and showing them photos of places that I have visited, while sharing travel stories that pertain to our curriculum. They are surprised to discover historical curiosities, like how it only took a few years to build super structures that were constructed thousands of years ago.
I believe there's value in teaching world history as a cultural subject. I incorporate a lot of art and social history into my teaching. My students are surprised by how artistic expression is tied to history and are fascinated to see how a painting like The Death of Marat by David was a political propaganda tool. My favorite 'aha' moments come when students realize that what we do is not just to "torture" them, but has a real and practical value. For example, they think completing notecards and outlines is considered "busy work" until they realize how much it helps them write their papers!
I also try to hook them on their duties as citizens. Last year when I officially became a U.S. citizen, 30 of my students came to my swearing-in ceremony. It meant a lot to me to have them there—my Country Day community filled the room!