Alan Douthitt was named one of the two Claremore High School (CHS) Site Teacher of the Year recipients.
Mr. Douthitt is a 3rd generation teacher, who is married to a teacher - teaching is who he is. Heavily influenced by his family and an NSU history professor, Mr. Douthitt never saw himself doing anything but teaching and coaching.
Douthitt believes that mastering information is essential but has always felt that you must help students develop critical thinking skills: "I tell my students on the first day of class that my goal is for them to question everything and become lifelong learners."
Lecturing introduces and gives students the information, but Douthitt also employs team-based learning by pairing students up with other students that have different interests and political views than they do. Centering his instruction around discussion, debate, and "hashing out" the nation's problems allows students to develop their own opinions, learn the value of compromise, and respect others' opinions.
Douthitt does not limit his instruction to the past but embeds history in the making into his classes: "We also study one prominent Supreme Court case each week, analyzing the case utilizing a template to break down why it's a prominent part of American history.”
He feels fortunate to have had numerous successes in his 26 years of a teacher, including coaching a CHS Academic Team to a state championship, making it to several soccer playoffs, coaching All-State players, being selected as an All-State Head Coach, and receiving the district Teacher of the Year award at a previous district. While incredibly proud of these accomplishments, he shares, "there is nothing greater than seeing students succeed in school and in life. I take a lot of pride in knowing that I've impacted students who sometimes come from a place of terrible disadvantage and helped them see what incredible opportunities there are for them in this country."
In the last 15 years, he has intentionally mentored new teachers as they navigate the intricacies of their first few years of teaching. He also credits CPS initiatives to become a professional learning community district-wide for his professional growth in the last few years, he adds, "Collaboration and knowing how to collaborate effectively are entirely two different things. It's easily the one thing that has helped me grow more as a teacher than any other training I've received."
Raised by his parents to be civic-minded, Douthitt is the sponsor of the Native American Student Association and is politically active. Additionally, he hosts a student voter registration drive and volunteers for local political campaigns each year.