Certiport’s Teacher of the Month: David Rowland

“Back to school” season has officially given way to just “school” season. Although fall is arguably one of the best seasons (who doesn’t love cider and sweaters?), it can be hard to stay motivated. The days are shorter, school is officially back in the routine, and those challenging students are back in your classroom.

With the day to day drudgery, it can be hard to stay inspired. That’s where we come in. We’re officially starting our “Teacher of the Month” series here on our blog. We’ll be working to discover and highlight the amazing work done by our teachers across the country.

This month we’re headed down to Georgia to highlight Mr. David Rowland. A true southern boy, David graduated from the University of North Florida before starting his career in IT support. Luckily, IT support at the college where he worked kept him intimately connected to education. “I have worked in education for my entire professional career, with my first 16 years serving as a support staff member at a public college. During my formative years, my mother was a support staff member in an elementary school. As an adult, I married my wife who has worked as a high school teacher for 17 years. Naturally, when looking at a career change a few years ago, my focus was on educational careers and I was offered an opportunity to step into the classroom to share the knowledge I had gained with students.”

David has now been teaching at Ware County High School for three years, primarily focusing on Business and Technology courses. “I teach the full spectrum, from freshman to seniors, so I have to be able to adjust my curriculum to meet my students’ levels of understanding. In all my courses, I try to teach business and technology concepts in ways that the students can understand. I want them to see how the material applies in real life. I use knowledge from 16 years working as a technology professional and supervisor to provide real-world examples to lessons in the course. The goal in my classroom is to relate business and technology concepts to students’ lives to help them understand the material and purpose of learning about it.”

But for David, teaching isn’t just a simple information transfer. Teaching is about connecting with students, showing them care and attention. “My students are the most inspiring part of my job, and I am truly there for them. Although it’s tough to see them deal with difficult situations, it’s all worth it when I get to see them succeed. My favorite part of my job is making connections with students and having them understand how the material in a business classroom can be applied no matter their chosen career path.”

One of David’s key tactics for showing students he cares is to push himself to succeed as much as he pushes his students. How does he do that? By, getting certified himself! “I use Microsoft Office Specialist Word 2016, Word 2016 Expert, Excel 2016, and Excel 2016 Expert exams in my classroom. I wanted to show my students the value of going above and beyond, so I made it a goal to also earn my certifications. So far, I’ve earned my MOS Access 2016, MOS Excel 2016, MOS Excel 2016 Expert, MOS Outlook 2016, MOS PowerPoint 2016, MOS Word 2016, and MOS Word 2016 Expert. With all those MOS certifications, I’ve also earned my MOS 2016 Master designation. I didn’t want to stop there, though, so I pushed myself to earn my MTA JavaScript, MTA Networking Fundamentals, and MTA Security Fundamentals certifications. And last but not least, I also earned my Microsoft Certified Educator certification.”

Obviously never one to do the bare minimum, David knows his students can achieve amazing things as well. “My biggest piece of advice for students is to take personal responsibility for your success and go into work opportunities with a positive attitude. Others can help you, but you must make up your mind that you want to succeed.”

While David believes students can power their own education, he believes there is a lot that teachers can do. “Yes, class sizes need to be smaller. It’s tough to connect with students and tailor lessons to students effectively with large classes. That said, it’s up to us to try and understand who our students are as individuals. If a student’s basic needs are not being met, then my class isn’t going to be very important to them. If I take the time to know my students, then I can help with more than just a certification. I can help them as a person.”

On behalf of Certiport, thank you, David, for all your hard work with the amazing students in Georgia. We are lucky to work with teachers like you.

Does a teacher you know deserve additional recognition? Email Hannah.Davis@pearson.com for a chance to have them featured here.