I’m Dave. I’m a 28 year old dude who makes a living teaching freshmen how to read, write, think, and be awesome people.
I love my job–teaching is an incredible calling–but even more I love my beautiful wife Crystal and my beautiful little girls, Hadassah Ellen and Laura Lindsay. I can easily say that I live with the three most beautiful women ever made.
I went to college to become a doctor because I thought that’s what smart people did, and, back then, I thought I was pretty smart . Granted, I didn’t like science class, but that was a minor detail, right?
Through a variety of circumstances, I ended up finding my real calling: teaching in an under-resourced school. Thankfully, my university had a small but passionate cadre of professors and students with similar aspirations, and we trained together eagerly.
In 2006, I graduated and took the first job I could find–it was at Woodlawn Middle School in Baltimore, MD. This place and all of its wonderful people taught me how to survive and thrive as a first-year teacher. My debt to them makes the national debt seem paltry.
During the Woodlawn years, I met my beautiful wife. We were quickly married, and she agreed to allow me to complete my third year at Woodlawn, and I agreed that, afterward, we would move to New York City where she had one more year of undergraduate work.
NYC’s schools were in a hiring freeze that year–2009-2010–so I took whatever work I could find. I was a busboy, a barista, a freelance writer, a temp, and a substitute teacher–all at the same time. These experiences were humbling and necessary for me. I again accrued an inestimable debt to my co-workers. And, during that year, I became increasingly eager to get back into teaching.
In the spring of 2010, with Haddie growing larger by the week in her mama’s belly, we moved to West Michigan, where we were both raised. I tried getting work in Grand Rapids Public Schools–I even went so far as to walk into the Dean of Human Resources’ office and say, “I’ve got an appointment with Jim” (or whatever his name was) without really having one–but they either didn’t need me or couldn’t find a chainsaw big enough to cut through the red tape.
Thankfully, there happened to be a long-term subbing position in a rural/suburban setting outside of Grand Rapids, and I happened to get the job. The long-term gig happened to turn into a full-time job, and I’ve been gratefully teaching at that setting since the Fall of 2010.
So why the Teaching the Core blog?
I began this blog in hopes of learning the Common Core State Standards (as you can read on my Intent page), but, to me, there is so much more to “the core” of teaching than the standards. Though this website began as a common core learning resource, my hope here is to add to the vibrant conversation about teaching and learning that has been taking place online for years. I hope this will sharpen both myself and others, and ultimately result in increased flourishing for both students and teachers.
If you’re already a teacher, I hope that my wins and fails and ideas can help you achieve your goals, and I hope that your comments and feedback will help me achieve mine. And if you’re considering teaching, I hope that this blog will help you to clarify your calling.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. If you know of someone who might like what’s going on here at the Teaching the Core blog, feel free to stay updated by following on Twitter, joining the Facebook community, or get the blog shot to your inbox via RSS.