Trevor Darden has a unique way of incorporating his love of history into most conversations. He weaves countless quotes from famous historical figures into his rhetoric with ease and purpose. This natural ability has helped Darden, a History Education major, grab his students' attention during his senior internship at D.H. Conley High School. "I want to make learning history fun for my students so they don't make the same mistakes in the future that others have made," he shares. Then Darden makes sure his point comes across by reciting one of the many quotes he has memorized, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." (George Santayana)
Originally from Gates, North Carolina, Darden did not start his college career as a History Education student. "I had all of these classes for my other major and I wasn't doing well. My wheels were spinning in the mud and I wasn't going anywhere" he reveals. "I had to look back over my life and examine what I enjoyed doing and the answer was-teaching." In fact, when Darden was in the second grade he enjoyed teaching so much that he asked Santa Claus for an overhead projector so he could pretend to be a teacher. With a chuckle he adds, "On Christmas morning I woke up and had my own cart, overhead projector, and tripod with a screen!" Darden's cousins soon found themselves his 'students' whenever they came to visit, "I would print off their homework and make overhead transparencies. I even asked my teachers if I could have some of the old textbooks they were going to throw away so I could use them at my 'school'." Ironically, Darden taught his cousins science and math but, "not history. I was always good at history but I didn't like the subject until I was older" he says with a smile.
Darden credits his high school history teacher, Mr. Thomas Evans, with developing his love of the subject. "Mr. Evans taught me a different side of history," says Darden. The misunderstandings, myths, and mistakes that filled Darden's history books were challenged by Mr. Evans and made Darden question his own assumptions. It was during this time that Darden's appreciation and fascination with history emerged.
Darden's interest in teaching others about history has been fostered since changing his major to History Education. "My favorite classes at ECU have been all of my History Education courses," he states. "In these classes we aren't just told the information. We are able to execute what we've learned in our [clinical] classrooms. I enjoy this hands-on approach and believe my instructors are preparing me to be a great teacher."
While Darden looks forward to graduating and teaching, he also has a realistic view of the challenges he may face within the profession. "Students have a myriad of problems at home that can flood over into school and cause behavior problems," he shares. Effective classroom management is essential for teachers and Darden plans on teaching his students about the power of respect. "I'm big on respect. Respect yourself, respect me [as your teacher], and respect others."
Darden's future academic goals include getting a Master of School Administration degree, a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership degree, and a Doctor of Divinity degree. He recognizes that his goals are lofty but he is undaunted. The College of Education supports Darden's dreams and believes he can achieve anything he sets his mind to. In fact, the following quote from Swami Vivekananda sums it up best when he said, "To work with undaunted energy! What fear! Who is powerful enough to thwart you?" Trevor, feel free to add this quote to your repertoire-we know how much you love them!