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Featured Faculty: Natalie Sharland–History Teacher & Head Varsity Girls Soccer Coach

When Natalie Sharland ‘03 was a student at TA, her interest in history was “ignited’ after studying the subject for two years with N.E.M.—”the Notorious Eric Marston." In fact, her path to teaching history and coaching varsity girls soccer began in his classroom, where she was encouraged by Mr. Marston’s “epic sense of humor.” Ms. Sharland knew then that teaching and coaching were where she belonged, bringing fun and humor to her students and players. She was thrilled to begin her teaching career at her Alma Mater shortly after graduating from the University of Maine at Orono with a double major in history and secondary education, and a focus on social studies. She’s been here ever since, and this year will be her 14th as a faculty member. 

For the past 11 years, Ms. Sharland has served as a coach for the varsity girls soccer team—seven coaching with Dr. Kohl and four as head coach. In her role as history teacher, she gets to teach alongside her husband, fellow history teacher Dave Sharland ‘99! Ms. Sharland teaches different levels of the sophomore course “Blind Eye of History,” which she absolutely loves. “We learn about U.S History through the eyes of African Americans, women, and Native Americans.” Six years ago, Ms. Sharland proposed this unique class offering to TA’s administration, and they approved its addition to the history department’s curriculum. The class is a favorite among students as well.   

Thank you for being a wonderful example of positivity and kindness, Ms. Sharland! You can always be counted on to bring joy and laughter to the classroom and soccer field. We’re so grateful for the ways you remind us of the importance of having fun! 

 

What is the best thing about teaching at TA? What is the most challenging?
“I love my job. The best part is the students. It is so fun for me to meet new students every year, get to know them, and try to have some fun while learning about history. Each year, every day at school is different (even though I might be teaching the same class) which makes this job so appealing. I also LOVE the people I work with...some of my closest friends are those that I work with, not to mention my husband (fellow history teacher, Dave Sharland)! We have a great time year after year.”

 

What is your favorite teaching memory? 
“My most memorable days of teaching have come from students playing some sort of review game. Whether it be Catch Phrase, Jeopardy, or History Baseball, the energy in class has always been amazing and there is nothing I love more than hearing my students laugh while learning about history. My favorite specific memory would be when I rolled the big recycling bin into my classroom and had Mr. Marston hop in it. After five minutes of class, he jumped up and scared just about every student in the class. I’m still laughing about that one!”  

What do you hope for your students? 
“I hope my students find happiness as they go throughout their life. I hope that I have taught them not to take themselves too seriously, and that using humor as they go throughout life is EVERYTHING.” 

What do you hope for the future of TA? 
"At this point in time with the Covid crisis, I hope in the near future TA can get back to some sense of normalcy—with 20+ students in a class, a packed gym for spirit week rallies  and Friday night basketball games, packed stands at Hill Stadium for a Saturday afternoon football game, a packed auditorium for dance shows/plays/musical performances, homecoming dances/proms, etc. These are the memories that a lot of our current students are missing out on and it breaks my heart.” 

Featured faculty fun facts! 
Favorite food: Buffalo Wings
Favorite book: The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay
Favorite Movie: Braveheart
Favorite Song: “Shoop” by Salt-N-Pepa