Welsh Valley Middle School social studies teacher Chris Gari was recently named among the "2019 Top Teachers Around the Main Line and Western Suburbs" by Main Line Today. Gari (in the image on the far left) and 14 other educators were recently featured in an article on Main Line Today's website detailing their exemplary efforts in the classroom. The section highlighting Gari, written by Lisa Dukart, can be found below.
Chris Gari really wanted to play varsity basketball, so his middle school coach agreed to work with him in exchange for some help on the court. "That was the first time I [realized] I had the ability to help other people," he recalls.
Teaching, it seems, was a natural fit —and so was social studies, thanks to his love of history. "I tell students right off the bat that I know this stuff happened a long time ago," says Gari, who has spent the past 13 years at Welsh Valley Middle School. "A lot of it is beyond the scope of what they can imagine, but it's important to understand where you come from so you know where you're going."
Whether the class is studying cave drawings or the laws of the sixth king in the first Babylonian dynasty, Gari incorporates simulations and group projects. For one, students build their own civilizations based on real city-states, creating governments and forging alliances.
Outside the classroom, Gari is assistant coach of the Harriton High School girls' basketball team—rather fitting when you consider the origins of his early love of teaching. "The game of basketball opened up a lot of doors for me," he says. "I want to be able to help kids have those same opportunities."
To read the full article on Main Line Today's website, click here.
Photo Credit: Tessa Marie Images