Jim Smith is a former high school history teacher with thirty years of classroom experience who now works as an education consultant, writer, and part-time teacher in lifelong learning programs.
As an education consultant, Jim has made presentations to teachers throughout the United States, as well as in Europe and Asia. His presentations provide opportunities for history teachers to develop strategies for helping students learn to think analytically and historically. He also makes presentations on how to teach writing, as well as how to teach a variety of topics in U.S. history. During the time Jim is not consulting or writing, he teaches community education classes on music history.
Jim has published articles and book reviews in The Journal of Southern History, Phi Delta Kappan, AP Central, Historical Times, and Healthy U. He has also published a biography of a Methodist minister in New Mexico titled Skipper Hall, and he is the author of an American history textbook titled Ideas That Shape a Nation, a book that has been endorsed by teachers and scholars throughout the nation, including two Pulitzer Prize-winning historians. His book about Billy the Kid, titled Catherine’s Son, was named a finalist in the category of historical fiction for the 2013 New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards.
Jim has a bachelor’s degree in secondary education (history and music) and two master’s degrees (history and government). He has been a recipient of the James Madison Fellowship, the Christa McAuliffe Fellowship, and a two-time recipient of the William Robertson Coe Fellowship. The Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History has recognized Jim as the U.S. History Teacher of the Year. He has also been recognized as the New Mexico Teacher of the Year and a Finalist for the National Teachers Hall of Fame.