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Channel 26 writer visits history classes

History class got a little more exciting for students on campus as a former Disney-of-the-year teacher and award-winning historical author shared his passion.

Madera resident Bill Coate?who works for Channel 26 on a special segment once a week called ?Twist in Time??spoke for the history department in a combined session on Feb. 17.

Coate is a correspondent who has been a history teacher for 35 years. He has a penchant for getting students engaged in history including taking students on a weeklong wagon train trip through the San Joaquin Valley.

The grandfather of campus junior, Jordan Scott, spoke to the second through fifth history class periods for both junior high and high school students.

??Twist and Time? is one of his favorite stories in print,? Scott said. ?His goal is to interest people in history, to get them hooked on history, especially school history.?

Coate takes the facts of history and applies them to the life of the kids and students. The kids then see why history is such an important subject to learn.

?I speak five to six times a week all over California,? Coate said. ?I love to have this as my job and I do it as often as I can.?

Students enjoyed Coates because he was creative in the way he delivered history and appeared to capture their imagination. Coate started off with reviewing the presidents and giving interesting stories about each president.

?I loved all the stories about each president,? Daniel Kingen, ?09, said. ?I learned history in a fun way with facts about the president I would have never known. I never knew about the curse of the presidents, it taught me how important history can be.?

Many students liked the change from the history class lessons they get everyday. The new speaker seemed to motivate students and freshened their view on history by getting away from the everyday routine.

?I thought this would be a great opportunity for our students,? Ellen King, world history teacher, said. ?He [Coate] called me up and asked to share with our students and to get our students motivated in their history classes.?

King said that Coate has a passion for teaching history that is remarkable. He puts all he has into teaching students the history of this country.

Coate has been recognized by numerous agencies for his lifetime work and has received Disney’s American Teacher Award and the “National History Teacher of the Year” award by the Daughters of the American Revolution.

?He was very energetic and definitely drew in my attention,? Sammie Krikorian, ?08, said. ?We played a fun game called The Will Abe Lincoln Rock game. Abraham and William Lincoln used to play this game out on their front yard in the white house.?

Coate challenged the students with this history game knowing the secret of the game: entice students to learn historical facts and perspective. The students were amazed at the fascinating facts he knew about history.

“The students at Fresno Christian were superb,? Coate said. ?The were very attentive to what I had to say. I really enjoyed speaking to them.?

Coate brought a brand new look upon history and shared the knowledge he has gained over the years. Coat believed that in order to teach others one has to have two things: knowledge about the topic and the wisdom to teach.

??Twist in Time? blows my mind,? Daniel Kessler 06?. ?Bill Coate?s voice brings the past to life in a way most teachers would only dream of.?

King and fellow history teacher Jon Hall plan on using a class set of books donated by Coate in the classroom, supplementing the materials used for U.S. history and world history classes.

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    Alexandrah AlemanAug 26, 2009 at 11:27 am

    Well, I never thought I’d live to see the day when a teacher on yard patrol put a traffic safety cone on their head…this is an epic moment in time.