Michael Munson

Michael Munson has been an esteemed history teacher since 1984, holding degrees in History and Secondary Social Studies from Bemidji State University in Northern Minnesota. His passion for learning, boundless energy, and unwavering dedication to education have remained steadfast throughout his nearly four-decade career.
Michael’s teaching journey began at Bemidji High School in 1984, where he initially taught Civics, World History, and General Social Studies classes. Over the years, he expanded his expertise by teaching the Project Success Social Studies sequence, a skill-building curriculum designed for students who faced challenges in social science courses. In 1992, Michael played a pivotal role in establishing the Advanced Placement program at the school and served as the AP Department Chair until 2003. As an AP teacher, he offered courses in AP Psychology, AP European History, AP U.S. Government & Politics, and AP Comparative Government. His dedication to teaching extended beyond the classroom, as he also taught courses in General Psychology and Research Psychology.

Outside of his academic role, Michael coached varsity baseball from 1985 to 1995 and served as the National Honor Society Adviser from 1999 to 2003. During his tenure at BHS, Michael co-founded the school’s Outdoor Adventure Club in 1996, merging his passion for education with his love for the great outdoors and wilderness conservation. Under his guidance, numerous students embarked on extended backpacking, rock climbing, mountaineering, white-water rafting, kayaking, canoeing, snowshoeing, and winter camping trips across the United States, fostering self-confidence, resilience, and competence among the participants.

In 2001, Michael joined a group of educators and parents dedicated to creating a college preparatory charter school that offered a rigorous curriculum accessible to students from diverse backgrounds. Together, they established TrekNorth High School in September 2003, with Michael co-authoring the charter application and serving as the school’s first Executive Director until 2006. During this time, he also taught a rotating schedule of AP Psychology and AP European History. TrekNorth High School quickly garnered recognition as an exemplary institution that provided exceptional educational opportunities to students who traditionally lacked access to advanced academics.

Despite his administrative success, Michael’s passion for teaching never waned. In 2006, he stepped down as Executive Director to return to full-time teaching, leading classes in AP Psychology, AP European History, AP U.S. History, and Civics and Economics. His decision to prioritize teaching was clear, as he believed that his true calling lay in the classroom, nurturing young minds and fostering a love for learning.

In late 2014, Michael relocated to Pennsylvania with his wife, where he continued to teach AP U.S. History, AP Psychology, and AP World History as an online instructor for TrekNorth through distance learning from 2015 to 2022, when he officially retired. In 2020, he began teaching online courses in AP European History and AP U.S. Government and Politics with the Pennsylvania Homeschoolers consortium, also offering courses in Pre-Modern World History, Cognitive Psychology, and Constitutional Foundations.

From his very first day of teaching to the present, Michael continues to approach the classroom with the same enthusiasm and zeal that ignited his teaching journey.

Teaching Philosophy & Approach

Throughout my nearly four decades as an educator, my teaching philosophy has always placed students at the forefront. Reflecting on the teachers and professors who profoundly impacted me as a student, I sought to emulate their magic. They created enjoyable, exciting, and engaging classes that challenged me to think critically and invest time in producing work that reflected my passion for learning and growth. As an educator and at times an administrator, I have mentored numerous young or student teachers, evaluated their performance, and shared my guiding philosophy as they honed their skills. Continuously, I have evaluated myself to ensure that I embody the principles I hold dear.

My 'student first' teaching philosophy rests on five pillars:

1. Building trust and respect: Ensuring that students know I am on their side and here to help them learn important concepts. 2. Priming interest: Introducing new topics or expanding on previous ones with relevant and even humorous stories to foster engagement and discussion. 3. Encouraging student participation: Validating their thoughts, questions, and concerns, allowing students to confidently contribute to their academic growth. 4. Flexibility: Recognizing students' lives outside of school and understanding that unforeseen circumstances may affect their time and commitments. Being empathetic and demonstrating a willingness to help. 5. Expertise and connection: Transferring knowledge goes beyond being a content expert; it involves listening to students, understanding their interests, and nurturing a sense of safety and belonging. Injecting passion and curiosity into the subject matter sparks a lifelong passion for learning.

“Throughout my nearly four decades as an educator, my teaching philosophy has always placed students at the forefront.”
Teaching Level:
  • Middle
  • High School
Teaching Type:
  • Tutoring
  • Full-Semester Classes
  • Full-Year Classes
  • Partial Year Classes (Mini Courses)
Teaching Subjects:
  • U.S. History
  • World History

Testimonials

Courses that Michael Munson Teaches

  • AP US History
    Our AP United States history course offers a comprehensive and…
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  • Cognitive Science
    How do minds work? What, for that matter, is a…
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  • History of Philosophy
    The history of philosophy is sometimes called the “history of…
    View

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