Medina teacher brings history to life

Posted 2 October 2014 at 12:00 am

Provided photo – U.S. History teacher Pierson Bell is dressed as a Revolutionary War solider in this photo with Victoria Vought (left), Abby Maines and Adam Cotter.

Press release, Medina Central School

MEDINA – U.S. History teacher Pierson Bell has a very unusual way to bring history to life to his students at Medina High School. He comes dressed to class as a British soldier.

“I am a Revolutionary War re-enactor and belong to a British regiment headquartered out of Rochester,” he said. “I got into it as a hobby when I was in graduate school at William and Mary, which is located in Colonial Williamsburg, the 18th century living history museum.”

His students have been studying the American Revolution since the beginning of the school year and when they focused on the military conflict and warfare of the 18th century, it seemed like a perfect time to wear his military uniform.

“The linear tactics, standing shoulder to shoulder and shooting at each other, seems silly to us in the 21st century, but it makes perfect sense to those in the 18th century due to the inaccuracy of the weapons,” he said. “We discussed factors that led to the American victory and some of the myths Hollywood movies perpetuate like Mel Gibson’s ‘The Patriot.'”

Mr. Bell says he loved this lesson because of its hands-on approach and because students ask questions on what they observe.

“As teachers we work hard to convey our passion for our subject to our students and hopefully excite them about their learning,” he said. “Showing students that my passion for history goes beyond work hours goes a long way in building credibility with them and creating interest for the subject.”