PHS PROFILE: Jeffrey Lucker

Jeffrey Lucker has taught at PHS for 47 years as an AP World History, Middle Eastern history, and Latin American history teacher. He attended high school in Brooklyn, New York, and completed his undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of Wisconsin. Other than history, he is also interested in the sciences, especially astronomy and medicine. He credits his joy in teaching world history to a multitude of enriching travelling experiences around the world.

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Photo by Annie Kim

What inspired you to become a social studies teacher?

“I was always interested in history so that wasn’t an issue. I majored in history in college [and] in graduate school. As to becoming a teacher, frankly, it was the war of Vietnam … Teaching at that time was draft-exempt. And it seemed to be … you know, at least for a while that was something I would be interested in going in to for that reason. I didn’t realize that I enjoyed it until the first day in front of a class.”

What are some of your other passions, not including teaching?

“I’d say my main passion is travel. And I traveled a lot, throughout my entire life. I’ve been a runner for most of my life. Although a lifetime of running has taken a bit of toll on my knees, so I don’t run as much or as far as I used to. And music— especially classical and jazz.”

Do you have any suggestions or tips for your AP students, for being successful?

“Well it depends on how you define success. If you define success as doing well on the test, I suppose they should come to my review sessions. If you define success as learning a lot about the world, then just listen. Come to class, be attentive. Yeah, that would be it.”

How do you keep your students motivated?

“I don’t know that I do. I hope I do … I think a lot of it has to do with making my class alive. Making it relevant. Telling them stories, showing them slides of trips I have taken. That has a lot to do with it.”

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