PCA’s McGee: ‘We learn much about ourselves by studying the past’
This article is part of a series by The Vicksburg Post, in partnership with the Vicksburg-Warren County Chamber of Commerce, featuring each of the Educator of the Year nominees.
“A child with a strong will and determination can choose to ‘lose themselves’ in their school work; in doing this they can know the excitement of the life of the mind,” Vance McGee said. “And then they can build a world of their own.”
Vance McGee teaches students beyond what is written in the textbooks. He challenges their minds and prepares them for life outside of high school.
McGee is a finalist for the Vicksburg-Warren County Chamber of Commerce’s Educator of the Year award.
The Chamber will select and announce one elementary and one secondary teacher of the year at the chamber luncheon on Feb. 17. The winner of each award will receive $1,000 from Ameristar Casino and the runner-up for each award will receive $500 from Mutual Credit Union.
McGee, who received his master’s in theology at the Talbot School of Theology in 1993, teaches theology and world history at Porter’s Chapel Academy. Before earning his master’s in theology, McGee earned his master’s in political science at California State University in 1990.
“I teach because I know the truth, and I want to share it,” McGee writes in his Educator of the Year application. He helps students learn the truth about the earth they live in through hands-on activities.
“In world history, I have discovered that many of my students are intimidated by maps,” McGee said.
In order to overcome this fear, he gives his students particular cities and has them find the coordinates.
“Having done the work themselves they now do much better with their map work, and they better understand just how ‘big’ the world is,” he said.
He also believes in finding the truth about the world comes from “studying the past.”
“I show how the issues we face today also arise again and again through world history. In fact, we learn much about ourselves by studying the past,” McGee said. “An educated adult is one who can understand today’s world through the ‘lens’ of past human experience, and those who cannot or will not do this often live in a haze of confusion.”
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