2012 Florida Teacher of the Year and National Teacher of the Year Finalist
Miramar High School, Miramar, FL
High School Music
For Alvin Davis, the definition of a 21st century educator isn’t just about master teachers, technology gurus or innovative facilitators. As he says, “We as teachers must be moral beacons and role models worth imitating. By leading by example we should be the illustration of character education so that when our students leave our classroom, they will leave understanding the importance of being productive members of society.”
As a result, Alvin believes it is his duty and obligation to be, as he describes it, “whole-heartedly committed to the entire education welfare of a pupil.” For this music educator, it is definitely not enough to teach about melody and lyrics. It also includes providing one hour in the three-hour block for after-school band rehearsal for a study hall where students participate in peer tutoring or are allowed to go to teachers for extra help; maintaining a resource library in his music classroom that includes every academic class textbook for every subject in his school; conducting at least quarterly counseling sessions with each of his seniors’ participation or non-participation in the SAT and ACT tests, as well as whether by January they have made an application to a college, university or career/technical school.
And in his individual subject teaching, Alvin makes that broader concept of learning ring true by, among other things, choosing songs for students to learn which have historical accounts, and incorporating science and technology by explaining the properties of sound waves and how acoustics play a part in the overall sound of the ensemble while teaching students how to properly tune their instruments.
Alvin’s principal says his leadership along with exciting classroom lessons help to instill in his school’s students a desire t o pursue excellence in education. “Alvin is a personable, articulate, and inspiring educator, is a driving force in our school’s educational gains,” this principal says, explaining further by saying, “Working with students from a large urban high school with a minority enrollment of over 95%, whose neighborhood and social realities impact students readiness and behavior, Mr. Davis’ focus on graduation rates, academic excellence, and character education have been a contributing factor in our efforts to close achievement gaps.
A current teaching colleague says, “In my time as a teacher, I have encountered few colleagues who have the natural ability to give instruction, and the passion to make that instruction matter to students, such as Alvin Davis. Someone once said ‘when you see a great teacher, you see a work of art.’ That is what Alvin Davis is. He is without a doubt the finest teacher I have ever had the pleasure of working with, and his long-standing track record of teaching excellence only helps to support my point.”CN1120-6103-1214