Enlightening Students About the Enlightenment

“Every aspect of his life was a celebration,” said Mrs. Caitlin Schenk to her World History Honors class as she described the life of King Louis XVI, the last king of France.


Shivani Ghatak

Ren Serilla, 11, listens attentively to Mrs. Schenk’s enlightening lesson.

Shivani Ghatak, Bear Hub Staff

The students sat quietly, with the sound of Mrs. Schenk’s voice and clacking keys filling the air. Being as it has only been a week of school, the class is quite engaged, but a tad on the quiet side. Junior, Ren Serilla mentioned that “As of right now, the class is really nice.” Last year was quite stressful for her, but she expressed that “this year I find that I am managing history well. The Enlightenment is pretty interesting so far.”

Mrs. Schenk reviews her lesson plan with a heart-warming smile.

Her students are all so enlightened because in Schenk’s World History class, Schenk doesn’t just speak to her class, she works with them to make history more relatable and interesting. She tries to connect the topic they are currently learning about, with topics that they will learn about later in the year. Laughter filled the air when she explained in a huge booming voice that “Marie Antoinette isn’t actually French. You would think so because she’s so important to France, but she’s actually Austrian. Hitler’s not German, he’s Austrian too.  And Stalin, well he’s Georgian, not Russian. We’ll learn more about them later in the year. It’s going to be fun.” She also connected the lesson with her students, encouraging some of them to share their trips to Versailles and their immense shock to the riches that were in sight.

Though King Louis XVI’s triumphant life was a “celebration,” Schenk explains that “It’s only been a few days, so everyone is still getting settled in, but we have lots of fun stuff planned, and everyday is going to be a party.”