A short conversation with…Dave Meister @phsprincipal

Dave Meister

How long have you been teaching?

I have been an educator for 22 years. I began my career by teaching U.S. History, World History, European History and Psychology at the high school level for nine years. During that time I worked as the Social Studies Department chairperson for three years. After leaving the classroom I served for three years as an elementary principal, eight years as a high school principal and as the director of a high school cooperative the last two years.

Has your educational philosophy changed since you began teaching?

The one constant in my teaching philosophy is that I love being around kids. There is nothing better than a little playful banter between myself and a group of students. At the beginning of my teaching career I was very content oriented. I believed that my mission was to promote citizenship and awareness mankind’s story over time. I was very much the sage on the stage and believed I had to “perform” to engage and teach my students. I taught like my favorite history teachers and simply knew of no other way to do it. As I matured as a teacher I began to realize that most students did not gain much from the way I taught, if fact most just practiced memorizing information and writing back to me using the same words I lectured them with. After this epiphany, I began to use more of a project based approach in my classroom. I let the student be responsible for getting the information and during class time we worked together to construct meaning and create new understanding. In short, when I started I believed classroom activity revolved around the teacher, today I believe everything needs to revolve around the learner.

Has Twitter played a role in your evolution as a teacher? If so, how?

Twitter has become a very important tool for me as an educator. I really have benefited from the constant stream of ideas, resources, and intriguing dialog about teaching and learning. I will state that the use of Twitter has fundamentally changed my practice as an educator in that it is is always there/on, challenging me to think about what I do.

What’s the best advice you have received as a teacher (or can give to a new teacher)?

Be able to look in the mirror and say to yourself “I did the right thing(s) for my students today.”

Dave blogs here.


Posted on March 28, 2011, in A Short Conversation with.... Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: