It’s easy to see why George Daka received a 2019 Teacher as Hero Award from the National Liberty Museum recently. Today’s #TeacherTuesday, a member of the Bensalem Township Education Association, and an AP US History and AP Government teacher at the high school, he uses humor, points out human folly and shows his students how history often repeats itself. George also connects the past to the present in order to make the lessons relevant for his students.
He tries to create an environment where students “learn by confronting intriguing, beautiful, or important problems.” He also believes that providing “authentic tasks will challenge the students to grapple with ideas, rethink their assumptions, and examine their mental models of reality.”
His goal is to provide learners with a sense of control over their education. He wants them to work collaboratively, “believe that their work will be considered fairly and honestly, and try, fail, and receive feedback from me in advance of and separate from any summative judgment of their effort.” Relevant classroom visitors and field trips also help students to connect with the past and present in a meaningful way. You can see where he’s taken his students by googling “Where in the United States is Mr. Daka?”
What other heroes challenge and prod their students to be their best selves? Let us know and we’ll feature them in an upcoming #TeacherTuesday post.