Ketcham
Welcome to my corner of the Internet. Here you will find access to the syllabi for class.

I teach Western Civilization, Geography and US History.


About Me:
Self-proclaimed history geek (I read history books for fun!). Father of 2 kids, 10 and 6. Lover of football (Bayern Munich) and football (Denver Broncos). 

This is my 4th year at Jefferson Academy, but I have spent 1 year at Lakewood High School and 4 years teaching at Front Range Community College.

For all of my classes, I run them fairly lecture heavy, because I feel like the skill of being able to listen, digest what's being told to you, and take the proper and right notes for each student is an invaluable skill they will use for the rest of their lives.

I am one who truly values the relationships I build with each and every student. I feel that using those relationships allows me to help them understand the material, because I can put it in terms they would understand. Plus, I try to make my classroom a welcoming environment where students can be themselves, but also have a sense of respect for each other and for me as well.

About the classes I teach:

Western Civ: We go from the Renaissance all the way to the beginning of the Cold War in Europe. We do spend the majority of the class in Europe, but will branch off depending on what topic we are covering. I feel that students should get the full story, as much as I can teach them, and allow them to make their own decisions. I don't pull any punches, and will talk about controversial topics as well as the well-regarded ones.

We hit the wars pretty heavily, because I have learned over my teaching career that you can teach so much information if it's packaged in a war environment, plus the students are more willing and able to focus on something like a battle or a war, rather than a societal change, so I tie the change to a war.

Geography: This class
 is much more than a class about maps and places. That information is there and is very important, but it is equally as important to focus on how each country and place interacts with each other, and with the United States. This should really be more of an international relationships type class. The students will watch videos and documentaries, talk about current events, and talk about different historical events and how those have affected the world around them. We will also look at things like elections, both domestically and internationally, and how those can affect how a country, whether the US or another country, is viewed in the world.

There is also maps and teaching the students where things and places are in the world, because as they graduate and move on, knowing the where of things is very important to the students' place in the world.

US History: This is my bread and butter class; the one I have a Master's Degree in history for. We begin with those native populations (Aztecs, Incas, etc) that are here before the European contact, and go all the way through 9/11 and the end of the Cold War. We will look at the Founding Fathers, the founding documents of the United States, and look at those who tend not to be in the history books as much, such as the Native Americans and slaves. We do spend time on all the wars the United States has been involved in, with specific attention focused on the Civil War and WWII, those cataclysmic events in our history which not only shape our country, but the world as well. 

In US History, it's easy to get lost in the idea of what is good about the US and ignore the bad parts. My feeling is if you only focus on the good, the good no longer becomes special. If you look at both good and bad, while the bad may be hard to talk about, it makes the good that much better to look at.

Mr. Ketcham
Mr. Ketcham's Fall 2020 class schedule (with room #):
(Along with the new bell schedule)

A Block (8:20 - 9:50) - Western Civilization (Room 134)
B Block (9:55 - 11:25) - Planning Period
C Block (12:10 - 1:40) - Geography (Room 137)
D Block (1:45 - 3:15) - US History (Room 237)

Syllabi
Geography Q2 Fall 2020 syllabus
US History Fall 2020 syllabus
Western Civilization Fall 2020 syllabus

Contact Mr. Ketcham at jketcham@jajags.com or by phone at 303-465-7681.

Office Hours
7:15 - 8:15am (Access hour) - Drop in to Commons
3:15 - 4:00pm (Access hour) - Email or talk to Mr. Ketcham for an appointment