HCS Changemaker: Ms. Dominic Davis
Congratulations to Ms. Dominic Davis, a Pre-K teacher at Chapman P-8, who has been selected as this week’s HCS Changemaker!
Ms. Davis didn’t always know that she wanted to teach, but she did know that she wanted to do something that involved helping people. Previously working as a nursing assistant, she spent a lot of her free time tutoring and volunteering at both the Richard Showers Center and with the Boys & Girls Club. She began to see a lot of the struggles that students and families often encounter, and her passion to help led her straight to the classroom. She knew that she could make a difference in the lives of children, and teaching at the Pre-K level offered her a way to really build a solid foundation for students to succeed later on.
“Ms. Davis is a great teacher because she forms relationships with the students,” says Chapman Principal Paula Thompson, adding that “she does an absolutely wonderful job.” To the outside eye, it can sometimes seem like students in Ms. Davis’ class, or any Pre-K classroom for that matter, are merely playing. The type of play that the students engage in is very purposeful, however, and focuses on providing the students the habits and behaviors they need to succeed in the classroom. Ms. Davis says, “Academics will come, but my ultimate goal for Pre-K is to make sure they have the social and emotional in check.” She says that it is a “critical calling,” and it all starts on day one where her top priority is to make sure the students feel safe in her classroom. Once they become accustomed to being at school, she works with them to learn how to share, ask permission, and even to make eye contact with their peers.
When she isn’t teaching, Ms. Davis enjoys crafting and runs a small home business where she works on vinyl monograming and bedazzling anything from t-shirts to umbrellas. She also loves to spend time with her family. Sometimes that means hanging out eating pizza and watching movies, and sometimes it means a special trip to Ft. Walton Beach, their favorite oceanside destination. She also enjoys reading, and when she can she still volunteers at the Boys & Girls Club.
Ms. Davis says that her students arrive one person and leave at the end of the year another. The same can probably be said of students at any grade level, but the foundation they build with her is what gives them the chance to succeed at those later grade levels. In that way, Ms. Davis works as a profound agent of positive change in their lives.