Teacher, Revere High School in Revere, Massachusetts
Background: David Eatough teaches Advanced Placement Biology, Advanced Placement Environmental Science, and Anatomy/Physiology. He's blessed to have wonderful, hardworking students, and says the diversity of his school's student population is their greatest strength, and that the world would benefit from witnessing how they work together.
Question 1: What are you most proud of in your work?
Answer: When students are passionate about learning you can see it in their eyes. They are hungry, especially those whom, for various reasons including socioeconomics, race, and gender, do not have access to the same opportunities as others. As students take greater ownership in their academic growth there is a noticeable change in the questions they ask. I know, in those moments, that my colleagues and I have succeeded and are proud.
Question 2: If you could pick one scientist (living or not) to come speak to your class, who would it be and why?
Answer: Charles Darwin! Rise from the grave and speak to my class? Tell [us] about your time on the HMS Beagle or when you first realized that the diversity of life could be explained by Natural Selection. Describe your emotions when you drew that crude phylogeny in your notebook and wrote the words "I Think." Read the lines from the last paragraph in your great book that, if my students do well on the AP exam, I will have tattooed on my arm: "Endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful..."
Question 3: What is your approach to build a meaningful relationship with your students and their parents?
Answer: There is no magic in building meaningful, long-lasting relationships with students and parents. It does require a lot of effort. You have to care, advocate, communicate, trust, invest in their interests, be open and transparent, emotional and honest. Parents always want their children to have better lives and more opportunities than they had.
Question 4: If you were president for a day, what would be the first law you would want to pass?
Answer: If I were president I would pass a law mandating that any student meeting admission requirements would be able to attend a four-year college free of charge. The financial debt incurred by students is an unbearable burden, especially for those from poor urban communities. Our youth have so much to offer and it would be in the best interest of the country to support their intellectual growth every way possible.
Question 5: In three (or more) words, what would your students say they learned from you?
Answer: I conducted a survey of my students about what they learned, and the words that appeared most frequently were: stewardship, perspective, passion, empathy, persistence, punctuality, resilience, honesty, self-advocacy, and authenticity. Nobody mentioned cellular respiration, "Tragedy of the Commons," or endochondral ossification, which pale in comparison to the core beliefs they did write.