Welcome, I'm Michelle McDonald
I'm glad you're here! I'm an educator with a decade of classroom experience in various grades throughout elementary and middle school. As a social studies specialist, I'm passionate about bringing history to life for students and older adults too. I don't know about you, but I've found myself teaching in schools that provided few (and sometimes zero) social studies curricula or materials. It can be daunting to find high-quality social studies resources. My goal is to share tips, engaging activities, and low-prep social studies activities including virtual field trips around the world!
In 2020 during a time of social isolation, it became clear that the virtual field trips I designed were not just for students. Through partnerships within the field of aging services, I have been able to offer specialized virtual field trips for older adults. These virtual field trips are accessible to those in senior living communities, memory care, hospitals, and those receiving hybrid care.
In addition, since 2018, I have been the host of the First Year Teacher Mentor Group. This is a community of new and seasoned educators that share ideas, encouragement, and offer support. With teachers facing burnout and new teachers leaving the field of education in under three years, this group is a safe space for educators to collaborate. No one can go through teaching alone.
I attended Eastern Washington University, and hold a Bachelor of Arts in Education with a double major in Elementary Education and Secondary Social Studies Education. I have a minor in Communication Studies with an emphasis in Intercultural Communication. I also hold a Leadership credential from Harvard University.
I taught first grade for five years in several different capacities. I've also
taught 4th, 5th grade, and middle school too. I stepped out of the classroom in 2019 to focus my attention on designing social studies resources for K-8 and virtual field trips for students and older adults.
I've been a featured presenter for teacher professional development courses, conferences, and podcasts. During the summer, I've enjoyed serving as a Teacher Leader for the Ambassador Leadership Summit at both Tulane University and Harvard University. I'm currently a board member for the Washington State Council for the Social Studies. I'm also a member of Educators for Change with the Holocaust Center for Humanity in Seattle, WA, and I serve as the board president of the educational non-profit, Las Amigas serving students in Baja California, Mexico.
My Family Life
I'm married to Scott, an outdoor, adventure-loving guy. I have two bonus kids and two rescue dogs. We love camping adventures and just finished a cross-country trip spanning 27 states and 8 National Parks. We currently split our time between living in Mexico and staying at our lake cabin in Washington State. You can follow our adventures virtually on my Instagram.
I'm an Arab American of Lebanese descent. My family heritage runs strong, and you'll often find me making Lebanese dishes on weeknights.