Shotwell aims to guide students to success

“My philosophy is to build a rapport with my students, show them that I want them to be treated like an adult.” -David Shotwell, new English teacher

David Shotwell, a new English teacher, wants his students to know that he isn’t focused on being a new “prison warden,” but instead sees himself as their guide to success. 

After teaching in both Arkansas and Mississippi before arriving at BSHS, Shotwell expressed excitement to be teaching in an environment where he is “trusted by faculty and administrators” and is ready to give his all so his students are able to succeed. He appreciates being independent as an educator as it allows him to mold his curriculum around students and improve their learning experience. 

“I feel like they put a lot of faith in their teachers and that’s a great relief to me because it lets me put more pressure on myself to perform and come through for my students,” Shotwell said.

Shotwell brings with him the knowledge that only experience can provide; while he appreciates 100% effort in the class, he understands that it’s an unrealistic expectation to have. Instead, he’s looking for students who apply themselves and use their time effectively in the classroom. Shotwell recalls his experience as a student and actively applies it to his teaching doctrine.

 “[I’m looking for] a student who is responsible and will give me their best effort most of the time. I’m not even saying 100% of the time–I understand you have other stuff going on. I can only imagine taking a math class here.”

High school is more than just a learning opportunity to Shotwell; it’s an important transitional phase from childhood to adulthood. In actively implementing feelings of mutual respect and understanding with his students, Shotwell strives to make his students feel like adults. He views students as more than just subjects that need to be taught, he views them as coworkers in the workplace.  

Shotwell looks back on his educational career and occasionally felt as if his teachers had a lack of passion in their workplace. Now, he believes in a simple rule: “You respect me, I respect you.” 

“I remember being in my high school English class thinking, ‘if I was teaching this class I would do things differently.’ Not that I knew more than my teacher, but I would try to engage with my students more, make them feel more like humans,” Shotwell said. 

David Shotwell can be found in the lower Language Arts Building during the during and shortly after the school day.