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I want to motivate my students to think for themselves and actively participate in their own education.

David Polett
2011 Fellow

David Polett

2011 Fellow
Mastery Charter School at Pickett Campus
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Whether he is running a summer camp for inner-city students in New Orleans, organizing a basketball clinic and tutoring program in Hudson, N.Y., or teaching a pre-calculus course at Philips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire, David Polett says his favorite teaching moments occur when he sees students actively working together to solve problems they originally thought were too challenging.

David views teaching as one of the most effective ways to combat the social and economic inequalities that exist throughout America.  As a member of the Philadelphia Teacher Residency program, David is committed to teach in one of the city’s high need public/charter schools.  “My experience student teaching in Philadelphia has shown me how academically unprepared many urban students are for life after high school and how damaging this can be for their future success.  I want to help improve the quality of education delivered in these schools and motivate those students who might otherwise fall through the cracks.”

David’s love for basketball may help him in this endeavor.  As an undergraduate at Bard College, the Arkansas native served for two years as co-captain of the men’s basketball team. “Working with the team taught me the discipline, effort and perseverance needed to be successful in life.  It showed me that lessons learned on the basketball court can be just as valuable as the knowledge obtained in the classroom.”

David, who is a graduate of Lutheran High School in Little Rock, Ark., volunteered as an assistant basketball coach while student-teaching at Philadelphia’s Frankford High School.  He hopes to continue coaching while teaching pre-calculus at Mastery Charter School in Philadelphia.