By Ji-yun Park,
English teacher David Achimore has returned to the school he graduated from. Achimore joined Davis High staff last year and is now teaching English 12, ELD and Yearbook.
“I decided to become a teacher because I love the process of learning. And watching someone gain the skills to advance their own learning is a great experience,” Achimore said.
During his senior year of college Achimore assisted at Goleta Valley Junior High School and taught seventh grade.
A year after college Achimore got a job through an organization called the Lutheran Volunteer Corps (LVC). Achimore taught in August 2010 through July 2011 at Academy of Hope located in Washington D.C., an adult school for people over 18 who dropped out of high school and came back to finish their credits and earn diploma. He taught writing and math classes for a year there.
“Volunteers work in eviction defense, community organizing, homeless shelters for youth and adults, low income housing agencies, and disability rights,” LVC Director Yvonne Charles said.
In July 2011, Achimore moved back to Davis because he got into the UC Davis teaching credential and masters of education program.
In the program there are typical courses which include methods for teaching English language arts, educational psychology, educational technology applications, research and methods for teaching English learners and special education students, assessment methods, and classroom inquiry methods. Achimore completed two classroom inquiry projects that allowed him to investigate his own teaching practices around a specific type of instruction, so he’s an expert in that.
“Mr. Achimore was a great student and a good colleague to his peers. His humor and thoughtful questions contributed to everyone’s learning. He’s smart and personable, so students respect him,” English Credential lecturer Pauline Holmes said.
After finishing the program for a year, Achimore officially came back to DHS as a teacher in July 2012.
“It was strange for the first few weeks. My memories of DHS was seeing friends, but now I see my students. It took me two weeks to get used of it. I was nervous at the start of my first day teaching, but I remember seeing smiles on all the students’ faces- this made me feel much more comfortable leading the class,” Achimore said.
Some of the teachers he had as a student are still serving at the school. Achimore and his brother both had social studies teacher Kevin Williams as their teacher in high school. Williams taught Achimore AP government for a semester.
“[Achimore] was a good and bright student. He always did his homework and he had a great sense of humor. There was this AP government project when we had to write a bill. Students had to write about issues that were important and cost benefit analyses. Many students wrote about illegal immigration or abortion. But Achimore wrote a bill to lower the age to 15 for riding a bike without a helmet,” Williams said.
Williams said he used to think, “wait, seriously?” But then later the congress actually made a request for this and he remembered Achimore’s project that he once thought was not such a special idea.
Not only his old teacher but his students also enjoy him being around. Achimore interacts well with students and his class is always enjoyable with laughers because of his humor, but he would be serious at times too when teaching. He is popular among students for his good teaching skills and personality.
“I always have fun in English because Mr. Achimore always make the class funny and easy to understand. He’s the best teacher I’ve ever had in high school,” senior Yoojin An said.
During the socratic seminar An could not understand a question that she received from another student. She hesitated then answered without confidence but Achimore encouraged her by nodding his head and fixed her answer not making her feel embarrassed.
“Even if I say or answer the questions wrong, he always make it sound like it’s the right answer. So, I don’t feel embarrassed during class,” An said.
Achimore is passionate about teaching and hopes to achieve his goal.
“I want to be a teacher who provides engaging lessons every day and instills confidence in every student. My advice for students would be to find what subject area they are passionate about and to pursue it. I just love teaching; I can’t see myself doing any other job and literature is awesome,” Achimore said.