• Elevate K-12

Instructor of the Month - David H.

Welcome to another ETalk, where we introduce an amazing person at Elevate K-12 involved in revolutionizing education through high-quality live online instruction inside schools!

Name: David H.

Location: Ridge Manor, FL

Experience With Elevate K-12: 2 years

Expert/Superstar In: I normally teach Spanish, but this summer I've been teaching ELA (Bilingual) and Math (Bilingual) as well.

What excites you most about teaching your particular subject?

Seeing the students become excited about acquiring their second language.

How do you make live, online instruction engaging?

I strive to make live, online instruction engaging by getting the students to work together through using tools of collaborative learning. Once they get past the fear of mispronouncing words and begin to speak Spanish with their classmates, it opens up a brand new world of possibilities in communication for them.

What strategies do you use to effectively reach your students who are working below grade-level expectations?

One thing that has worked for me in the past is giving students who are working below grade-level expectations extra attention in class. It helps to find out something they are interested in and apply the lesson to what they like. This gets them interested in the class. Additionally, praise them when they do something correctly. If they only get part of the answer correct, praise them for what they understood and then build off of that.

What do you like about working from home/remotely?

I love it! After teaching for thirty years in the classroom, it is nice to make a mug of hot French Roast coffee, or Colombian for that matter, and sit down at the computer with my dress shirt and pajama bottoms with my bunny slippers on and have lots of fun watching students obtain a second language! Today I subbed for a fourth grade Spanish Enrichment class and it was so fun to see students so excited about learning Spanish! This is their first week of class but they already know the numbers from 1-20, the greetings, most of the letters of the alphabet, the family members, and much more. I started out with "Hola" and "Buenos Dias" and one of the students was quick to tell me: "We know Spanish!", LOL!

How do you ensure your students have been successful whether they're learning at home, school, or both?

Through working with my AC Jenny last year, I started coming up with ways to get my class to work together more in collaborative groups. This helped students in the classroom and those at home become successful. Students in the classroom and students at home could work together in the class chat to improve their written Spanish. Also, I could turn the mics on so that students could work together to improve their spoken Spanish. It took some work figuring out logistics, but with Jenny's help, I was able to help both students in the classroom and students at home be successful in learning a second language.

Describe your best moment teaching live and online. Be specific!

Last year when I was teaching middle school Spanish at a school in Georgia, I had a student who was having problems understanding verb conjugations and grammar in general and was doing poorly on his tests. His father suggested that he attend Friday support days for extra help. This gave me the opportunity to work with him one-on-one and that was just what he needed! He got to the point that he understood verb conjugations so well that he volunteered to be a student-teacher and help teach the other students in the class! He explained to the class how to conjugate verbs in a way that made it simple for them to understand! He got through to them better than I could have! Seeing him go from a struggling student to a student-teacher was my best moment teaching live and online!

Tell us a little more about who you are--what do you like to do?

Back in 1995, I started to record old-school Christian rap. In the early 2000s, my son and I would go to different churches and youth events and perform Christian rap. I still record music but now I do more spoken word poetry than rap.

I love to write poetry! My favorite topics are Native American stories, history and spirituality, and the environment and preserving Mother Earth. When I write poetry, I post it on many groups, sometimes over 100. I know a poem really has touched hearts when I have over 100 people sharing the poem with others. I also record my spoken word poetry, old-school rap, and rapcore rock over different types of music: Native American, reggaeton, rock, ethereal ambient, hip hop, etc.

I also like to walk and run in the woods near my house with my six-year-old Lab/Pointer mix Nina and my six months old Blue Heeler (Australian Cattle Dog)/Rat Terrier mix Zula. I love my dogs and spend a lot of time with them! OK, I love my wife and family, too, LOL! My wife is from Puerto Rico; we will have been married for 37 years in August of this year! I love to spend time with my 11-year-old granddaughter and my 17-month-old granddaughter.

Thanks, David H.!

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