By all accounts, Uplift Education technology teacher Thomas Davenport is an inspiring teacher, who cultivates a positive learning environment for his scholars. He loves his job now, but he recalls a time when he questioned his choice to teach. He was a first year teacher in another district and found it difficult to enact innovative ideas and was unable to see the influence he had on his students. He was discouraged and began to wonder if he could be an effective teacher. Fortunately, for scholars at Uplift Summit International Preparatory, he decided to persevere.
“Through a series of amazing coincidences, I found the teaching position I have now, in spite of the fact that I was unfamiliar with public charters. I truly believe I had a calling to work for Uplift Education. I fell in love with this position because the impact that you can make in the lives of children is truly incredible,” he said.
Mr. Davenport promotes scholar growth with his Root 122 technology club. The scholar owned and operated club provides an outlet for technologically inclined scholars to work on computers, create and maintain a website, write code for video games, design graphic art and maintain a blog. Furthermore, the computers they rebuild are donated to families who need them. His scholars are grateful for the access they have to technology, while parents appreciate the group’s commitment to the community.
In the classroom Mr. Davenport receives accolades every day for his ability to teach technology, even if it isn’t expressed verbally.
“In the three years that I’ve been at Uplift I can honestly say I have changed lives for the better. You become an important figure in their lives and you are the teacher that truly makes them happy to be at school. That’s huge,” he explained.
Mr. Davenport has learned that classroom management is the key to being a successful teacher and that showing genuine care and concern for scholars is the best way to cultivate a positive learning environment. The most important aspect of being a teacher who promotes scholar growth is to be a learner.
“I love inspiring kids, but, actually, most of my innovative spirit just comes from me. I have a strong belief that as a teacher I should model being the type of learner that I want them to be. That’s why my scholars and I learn together,” he said.