February 10, 2012
As the students begin to quiet down Nathan Daves, English teacher, pulls out his copy of Hamlet. He begins to review and discuss with the students the chapters he assigned for homework the previous class. Excited to discover the students are eager to analyze the novel, the class discussion only ends with the bell.
“There are few jobs that allow you to have this kind of relationship with students,” Daves said. “Not many people get to wake up, go to work and have fun.”
After graduating from Texas Tech, Daves decided to sub for a few classes to see if he wanted to be a teacher. Afterwards, he immediately went to Cambridge to get his masters in education.
“I wanted to teach because I wanted to change lives,” Daves said.
Daves first taught at Intercity South Boston as a sixth grade reading and language arts teacher.
“Teaching at Intercity South Boston was the best experience of my life,” Daves said. “It was an all black school in south Boston, and I was a white conservative male and they loved me. From my background, to be loved by people so different than me, it forced me to confront some of the prejudices I had.”
After teaching in Boston, Daves moved to Texas and taught juniors for three years before becoming a principal of an elementary school in Midlothian.
“Teaching and administration are two different worlds,” Daves said. “I liked being a principal because I got to work with adults and help them become better teachers. As a principal I only saw the trouble students, the kids who were always in the office. I love those kids because they remind me of myself. I enjoy teaching because of the personal relationships I get to have with students. I feel like we’ve really connected. I also really like my subject matter I teach.”
Daves has currently worked for Legacy for two years as an AP and regular English IV teacher.
“It just keeps getting better,” Daves said. “This is probably been the best place I’ve been, and this has been the best year of my career. My students have made it so much fun. The senior class is really a special class of students. We’ve just all really connected and I’ve grown a lot in knowledge which has made me more comfortable.”