Dave Reid is a first year, second-career teacher passionate about teaching all students. He attended the US Military Academy at West Point, George Mason University (BSEE), Santa Clara University (MBA), and Stanford University (MAEd). He currently teaches Algebra 1 and AP Calculus AB at Willow Glen High School in the San Jose Unified School District in San Jose, CA.
After almost three decades in high-tech (wireless and GPS mostly), I have embarked on a second career to which I feel a calling: teaching.
Something called to me for many, many years but I was never tuned in enough to figure out what. Now, I know. It’s teaching high school students how to make the most of themselves in life as capable, competent citizens, full of self-esteem and self-confidence tempered by some humility and empathy for those who have less, and eager to serve their nation and this world in their life — whatever career path they choose
I also seek to teach those who wake up everyday wondering if they matter, whether they need to care, or even try to fulfill societal expectations that seem so out of reach. I know that it is so disheartening to have tried before only to walk away empty-handed so often. All of these souls — my students — are important to me. I hope to show them through teaching that they matter, are important, are capable, and with effort, can do much more than what they may have allowed themselves to believe.
That is why I teach.
While the subject I teach is mathematics, my focus is on imparting knowledge, the ability to think independently and in groups, the confidence to make mistakes and fail while pulling oneself up so as to never give up entirely, the wisdom to seek help, and the desire to do your best.
My experiences in life saw me struggling with math, overcoming it, successfully applying it in various technical and business fields, and now, as a teacher, looking at it as an art. That is why I wanted to teach math: I failed at it as a student, but I ultimately was able to apply it successfully as a professional. If I could underscore that for my students, they will learn not to give up — and that as life evolves, different elements of your academic career may come into sharper focus.
My experiences with math as a science (viewed as a set of tools for use in solving problems) provide me with a range of knowledge, applications and techniques to help the most challenged in math to the most gifted. I am passionate about delivering an equitable and accessible math curriculum and instruction — taking into account other pedagogical, special needs and English language learner considerations — so I can be a math teacher for all students: rich or poor, self-confident or self-conscious, struggling or excelling, excited or bored, math hater or -lover, English conversant or not.