Seven Rivers Christian School

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Shawn Allen

Florida State University
BA American History
MA American History Post-1865
What were you like as a child?
I was much like I an now, but cuter, shorter, with blonder hair.  I had lots of energy and talked a lot.  I couldn't sit still.  I liked people but was nervous around new people.  I was incredibly competitive, terrible in the arts, and did not have much self-awareness.
Why did you become a teacher?
I like knowledge and talking about ideas.  I like helping people.  History made things make sense.  I had a nagging question of why are we the way we are and how did things develop into the society in which we live.  I love sharing those things with students so hopefully they can get a more complete understanding of the world they live in and where they fit in it. 
Who was an influential teacher for you, and why?
Mr. Jackson and Mrs. Jeffes (Mr. Allen is a Seven Rivers graduate).  I'm not saying that to brown nose either (although I hope it works).  Their consistency, honesty, and passion for their work showed me what good teaching was.  Some of the most effective ideas and actions in my classroom come directly from what they did when I was their student.
What are your interests outside of work?
Golfing, fishing, and writing.  Oh, and BBQ.
What is your favorite course to teach?
U.S. History.  To quote Ron Swanson, "History began on July 4, 1776."
What do you love about SRCS?
The faculty and staff function from a place of security in Jesus Christ.  There is an air of rest in each individual, which creates a team of people who can act out of selfless action and vulnerability rather than from a restless, self-righteous insecurity.
What do you most enjoy about your job?
The content.  The students.  The colleagues.  Connecting students to a world bigger than they are and helping them see it more clearly so they are equipped to enjoy it and function within it.
Tell us about a memorable adventure you have experienced.
Outside of my wedding and birth of my children, the best thing that I've experienced was meeting a former president on a golf course.  I was on a trip with my brother (he's a big shot), and we were playing at a very exclusive course near a U.S. Open venue.  Later in the day, after we had finished, we were sitting in the clubhouse when a crowd gathered around 18 green.  There a former president was walking up to the green.  He came over and shook everyone's hand and took photos.  He was so focused and aware, but at ease and joyful.  My brother and I got a picture with him.  He was startled when I walked up to his right side because he was only expecting my brother on his left.  He said, "Brothers, huh?"  Like a script, we both responded, "Yes."  He asked, "Which one is smarter?"  Beat for beat, we said "The one on the other side."  POTUS thought that was clever and laughed big.