"I became a teacher because I wasn’t the greatest student. Growing up it was understood that I needed to be “smart”, but I lacked inspiration and intrinsic motivation. Consequently, I made good grades but I lacked that spark. It wasn’t until I met my high school history teacher that I realized that learning could be fun. So everyday I strive to be that person for my students. It’s like the parable of teaching a person to fish rather than feeding them or giving them fish. I rather inspire students to be lifelong learners than to just teach them a curriculum.

For anyone who is interested in entering the field of education I will say this: Teaching has to be a passion and a calling. As we all know, this isn’t the most lucrative profession. Due to this, one has to love what they do. Before embarking on this journey, it is important to understand that our students are our priority and everything we do is to help them reach their potential. I tell people all the time that teaching is heart work as well as hard work. This field has its rewards daily but it does come at a cost. Teachers not only teach but they are often parents, counselors, friends and mentors to students. This can be taxing if your heart isn’t in it. Lastly, always check your “why” before embarking on this journey. What is your reason for even wanting to be in education? If that reason is self serving only, then this isn’t the field for you.

One of my most memorable moments as a teacher was when a student who was considered a “behavior” student, walked away from a fight. Now I understand on paper this seems like a minute event. However this was a major milestone in this student life. What made this moment special for me was that reason behind why she didn’t involve herself in the altercation. After the incident I asked her why not fight her because that was her norm and she stated the following. “ I mean I could’ve fought her but you always tell me to choose me and want more for myself. So, I chose me because I know that I am better than this”. This moment changed my life because I know for certain that teachers can change the trajectory of someone’s life by just watering the greatness that is already present in them."

To learn more about Davena and her journey as teacher: 

Instagram: @teaching_on_purpose