Sometimes, people come into our lives and change our trajectory in a very meaningful way. When David Smith graduated from college, that person was Dr. Larry Leverett, David’s high school mentor, who had become superintendent of schools in Plainfield, New Jersey.
David walked into Dr. Leverett’s office to say hi and walked out with a teaching job.
David had majored in fine arts and was hunting for a videography job at the time. When he shared this, Dr. Leverett said he’d be ideal to fill an open position as a high school graphic design teacher.
“He didn’t take ‘no’ for an answer,” says David. “He was absolutely confident in my ability to teach. It’s as if he saw something in me that I didn’t know at the time.”
David put all his trust in his mentor and accepted the job, discovering after a couple of months in the classroom that he had a natural ability to teach: “I was connecting with students effortlessly, and I could reach students whom other teachers found difficult to work with.”
His second teaching stint led David to Georgia, where he helped open a new middle school in Forsyth County. There, he taught fine art and photography and led workshops for programming, creative writing, and animation. In his first year, he was awarded Teacher of the Year. Three years later, he returned to his roots and taught high school video production and photography.
“Perspective is the biggest influence. A teacher can shift a student like waves move a ship. They may only shift a few degrees. It seems like a small change until they are further in their journey, but that slight push can make a big difference in the destination.”
Throughout his 13-year teaching career, David has taught almost 4,000 children and still keeps in touch with a few. The impact he has made on them is clear. Two of his former students now work for Marvel, two for Turner Broadcasting, one is an art director in New York, one is an animation supervisor in Atlanta, two run production companies in Atlanta, and one is an international landscape photographer. Says David, “Those are just a few examples that really make me feel like I succeeded in what I set out to do.”
Today, David is a media specialist on the MarketSource Learning & Development team. He develops training for our retail business unit and also assists with photography needs and streaming video solutions for the company as a whole. In his seven years at MarketSource, David has enjoyed working with a team of creatives and on business development projects. “Getting a closer look at program launches and all of our technology processes has been really great,” he says.
While he has a host of hobbies outside of work, such as filmmaking, carpentry, and cooking, David has a soft spot for his teaching experience. He explains the gravity of a teacher’s impact: “Perspective is the biggest influence. A teacher can shift a student like waves move a ship. They may only shift a few degrees. It seems like a small change until they are further in their journey, but that slight push can make a big difference in the destination.”
#teaching #creativity #marketsourceproud