The man of multiple stories
The Hand of God, playing long stick middy, seeing multiple music shows and stopping a fight in his first day as a teacher at Blair, the list goes on and on. Robert Gibb has seen and experienced all of these things and more in and out of Blair during his 24-year tenure.
As one of the most experienced members of the Social Studies department, Gibb tries to mix up the way he teaches his students every year to give his classes some spice. When asked about why he teaches Advanced Placement (AP) European History Gibb replied, "European history is fun. Western society as we know it comes from European culture." This constant change in style combined with his enthusiastic and passionate teaching and avid student participation make his classes exciting. "A good teacher realizes they have a lot to still learn," Gibb says.
Another aspect of Gibb's classes that differ from others is the way he allows students to give their personal knowledge about the subject at hand. Gibb gives his students the chance to tell the other students stories from their own lives about the subject.
Gibb started his life at the old Blair as a student teacher and after a year he became a full time teacher. On his first day as a paid teacher an incident occurred that he will never forget. "As I walked into my first classroom I saw two kids fighting each other on the floor. I pulled them apart and then walked them down the hall and handed them to the security guards,” Gibb recalls.
Outside of Blair, Gibb leads a very interesting lifestyle. As an avid sports fan, he plays for two lacrosse teams and a soccer team. He also travels, gets outside and still finds time to read good books. Gibb has traveled to Central America, Europe, the Caribbean islands and a lot of states inside the United States (U.S.).
As a kid, Gibb looked up to major figures in history such as Abraham Lincoln. He also was involved in the music scene, going to shows and singing in any band that he could find. His love for lacrosse stemmed from his attendance at multiple Maryland lacrosse games during his youth.
Another interesting fact about Gibb is that he's attended the World Cup, soccer's biggest event, multiple times. He has attended the World Cup in Mexico, Italy, Spain and the U.S. Whenever he attends a World Cup he does a tour of the country while going from stadium to stadium in different cities and regions. This allows Gibb to not only enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of a country hosting a major event but also to witness the hidden beauties that the country has to offer.
When he attended the Mexico World Cup in 1986 he witnessed two of the most famous plays in soccer history. These were the Hand of God and one of the greatest goals of all time, both done by Diego Maradona. The Hand of God is a famous goal in soccer history because of its nature. Maradona scored it in a knockout stage of the World Cup against England by using his hand to deflect the ball into the goal. Because of the illegality of the play it is famous and it is something the English are still bitter about to this day.
His love for the game of soccer has translated into his role as the coach for the Girls Varsity soccer team. Gibb helped the girls soccer team reach a record of 8-5-2. At times Gibb joins in on practices and plays with them.
Being the coach of an athletic team has also shown him how Blair compares to the other school in Montgomery County. These travels have shown him that Blair is the right place for him. He also believes that in the time he has been at Blair, it "has evolved and changed" into a better school.
When asked what is special about AP European history, Gibb said, "People from all different backgrounds take the class." He then mentioned, "AP European history is a good course for history buffs.”
From his experience teaching and from his adventures, Gibb has molded his classrooms into ones full of student participation where he can use his skills to "tell stories and bring history to life." This sets up Gibb's ideal classroom environment, one that is interesting and entertaining instead of boring and dry.
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