Janet Oakley

Janet Oakley

About Janet

Janet has loved history since she first read pioneer stories in fourth grade. She strives to bring her passion to elementary children through the arts and crafts of the time periods they study in school. Janet has a Bachelor’s degree in History, a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Weaving and Textile Arts, and a Master’s degree in Elementary Education. She has written third grade social studies curricula for the Bellingham, Meridian, and Mount Baker School Districts as well as for national parks. Each year, Janet runs a historic 1891 school on Fidalgo Island for 3rd to 6th graders, bringing 19th century learning to 21st century kids. Her motto: History rocks!

Teaching Experience

Janet has over 30 years experience teaching hands-on history to students, including 11 years at the Bellingham School District’s Conservation Site, workshops in schools, and through her work as Curator of Education at the Skagit County Historical Museum in La Conner. She is a certified teacher and has been a substitute teacher at the elementary and high school levels since 1982. In addition to traditional classroom settings, Janet has taught in parks, at historic sites, and for all-school historic events. She has taught for Western Washington University since 1995.

Teaching Philosophy

Janet believes that children understand concepts and processes by doing them. She thinks that understanding the process of how things work or are made helps students appreciate the people they study in their history courses. Whether doing traditional food-ways, writing on a slate, making a hornbook, or deciphering a 19th century math book, students gain appreciation of craft, the patience and perseverance crafts require, and recognize craft functionality through these living history experiences.

Lesson Plans