History Teacher Reflects on How Technology has Changed Teaching

History teacher Matt Walton remembers when he used to have to use a portable CD player in his classroom to play CDs of great historical speeches for his students. He has seen firsthand how far teaching has come as a result of technology’s major progression.

“Students are now able to access almost any primary source right from their laptops,” said Walton. “It helps bring history alive in a way that was not possible before. As a history teacher I have so much more access to information than I did when I began my career.”

While Walton has seen many changes over the years, his love of teaching has never wavered, and he holds on to the values that he learned as a young child growing up in Maine. As the third of four children, Walton was constantly learning from his parents and siblings and discovered how much he loved the feeling of gaining wisdom. It didn’t take him long to realize that he wanted to be the one passing that wisdom along. After he expressed his appreciation for one particular teacher he had in elementary school, his parents encouraged him to consider teaching as his own career and he hasn’t looked back since.

Walton earned his undergraduate degree from Gordon College and has been living in Massachusetts since 2002. He went on to obtain his master’s degree from the University of New England. His wife is a teacher at North Reading Middle School and the couple has two sons, ages four and six months. In addition to teaching history at the high school, Walton is a class advisor and he is heavily involved in the annual National History Day Competition.


What do you love about teaching in the Winthrop School District?

The sense of community. Winthrop is a place that is welcoming and supportive.  I have been lucky to work with colleagues and administrators who have not only become friends but have helped me become a better teacher. I have worked with amazing students, many of whom have remained in touch after graduation.


If you weren’t a teacher, what other profession could you see yourself doing?

Pitching for the Boston Red Sox.  Other than that, teaching is what I love to do.


Is there someone who inspired you to teach?

While growing up, my father and mother taught me everything.  From how to play basketball, to how to cook, to how to go on a job interview, everything I learned was from them, and I loved learning.  That, along with having some great teachers in my youth, made me want to enter the profession.


Do your students inspire you?

The challenge of teaching is working with 25-30 different individuals, each with their own needs. In that way my students both challenge and inspire me to try to present each lesson in a way that they will, hopefully, be able to relate to their lives.

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