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Q&A: Molly Keenan wins Minnesota Council Social Studies Teacher of the Year

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Q&A: Molly Keenan wins Minnesota Council Social Studies Teacher of the Year

Molly Keenan holding her MCSS Teacher of the Year plaque.

Molly Keenan holding her MCSS Teacher of the Year plaque.

Tony Vue

Molly Keenan holding her MCSS Teacher of the Year plaque.

Tony Vue

Tony Vue

Molly Keenan holding her MCSS Teacher of the Year plaque.

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On March 2018, Molly Keenan, received the Minnesota Council Social Studies Teacher of the Year award, winning in the high school category. Mrs. Keenan is nominated as a semi-finalist for the Minnesota Teacher of the Year.

Q: How do you feel about being MCSS Teacher of the Year?

A: I feel very humble, it makes me feel very aware of and alert, about all of the ways I can do more and do better. I also feel very grateful because I know that you don’t receive one of these awards unless you have receive recognition and the materials and resources that you put forward about yourself support the nomination.

Q: Is this the first time you’ve ever been nominated? Or first time in social studies?

A: This is the first time that I have received an award for social studies. This is not the first time I have been nominated, so this is my 5th nomination and my first win.

Q: What do you think about Harding teachers/students getting nominated?

A: I feel like that’s something where our school could really grow. When teachers have nominations, or students have nominations for cool awards … people whose life is lived at Harding got either recognition, nomination, [or] won different awards; be they academic awards, professional sports, etc. I think as a school, we can do a much better job highlighting those moments and that we would all benefit from that.

Q: What is the best thing about being a social studies teacher?

A: The best thing (about being a teacher) is, I really do believe, and it really does shape how I approach this work that I am having a hand in the creation of the future, and so I feel like extraordinary responsible that I be diligent and careful with the content that I’ve present. As a social studies teacher in particular, I deeply want to inspire my students, I want them to feel like history is touching today, but there is a direct connection between the past and now, and if I can make them feel [the direct connection], then I could make [my students] see what we all do, the choices we make, the way we treat one another, the responsibilities that we carry, the way we hold onto one another accountable and tried to be good human beings to one another, actually really matters. It’s all tied to the past; it’s right here with us in the present and what we do with ourselves in the present has a direct impact on the future. That, to me, is what matters so much about teaching and the thing that is most inspiring to me is that there is a lot of pressure in it but there is a lot of joy in it.

Tony Vue
Closeup of Keenan’s plaque.

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Q&A: Molly Keenan wins Minnesota Council Social Studies Teacher of the Year