Bringing history alive in the classroom


Donalyn Nance, Staffer

For most of my life, history has never told the whole story. So when I walked into Room 617 for United States History, I didn’t expect anything more than a regular class. However, I walked out a different person only because of teacher Courtney Cox.

“My real passion for the subject came from my 10th grade World History teacher at Klein High, Mr. Clark. He was the first teacher I ever had that didn’t use the textbook and taught us through primary sources,” United States History Teacher Courtney Cox said. I always daydreamed about teaching and maybe majoring in history, but I didn’t make that decision until the end of my freshman year of college,” Cox said.

Like Mr. Clark, Mrs. Cox related the past to the present. History is not the easiest class to stay engaged in, but she found a way to keep her students interested and passionate about the subject. Videos, class discussions, and talks after class kept me afloat during the pandemic. Although I never saw her face for the entire second semester, her radiant energy beamed through the mask. 

“Balancing motherhood and teaching is something I’m still working on. The teaching profession automatically equals long days and weeks. I do my best to set healthy work-life boundaries. I try not to work from home unless necessary. In addition, part of the balance is me loving my job. I don’t think I could do a job that kept me away from my daughter unless I loved it. I love teaching!”

Mrs. Cox balances motherhood and teaching like a quarterback balances the offense. She had a baby girl; you would think Mrs. Cox would slow down, but she sped up. She makes an effort to communicate to her students as a confidant. I have told her things only she and I know. The only reason I trust her is that we both approach history the same—telling the truth. During a lecture, she talked about the Native American genocide. Most teachers in the past called this the first Thanksgiving; from that moment forward, I looked at her differently. I respected her. 

“I plan on staying in the classroom. Interacting with students and helping them become life-long students of history is what I enjoy most. For right now, I’m happiest in room 617 teaching my awesome dual credit students,” Cox said. 

Mrs. Cox began her career at KC and planned to end it there. I wish I could go back in time and do U.S History Dual Credit over, but I can not. However, I will always remember her drive and confidence. Anyone who steps into 617 will leave a new person just like I did.