By Ms. Henrietta Montgomery Special to the Sword and Shield

United States History is the subject in the Social Studies curriculum that the South Carolina State Department of Education chose [for] End of Course exam[s]. By the end of the course, students must have knowledge of over 400 years of history. In addition to learning concepts, students must know how to analyze documents, cartoons and graphics.

For the teacher, this is an awesome task. Many students come to the course without prior knowledge of these skills. The job of the teacher is to make sure that these skills are acquired and that the students become proficient in these areas. With the ongoing problems of students with reading deficiencies and those students choosing not to read, the challenge is always present.

The reward for both the teacher and the students is seeing the gains they have made from the beginning of the school year to the end of the school year. Some may pass the exam, and some may not. But what the students have gained are lifelong skills that will help them be successful at the next educational level of their choice.

Ms. Montgomery is the Chairperson of Keenan’s Social Studies Department.