HCS Changemaker: Ms. Allyn Davis
Congratulations to Ms. Allyn Davis, a math teacher at Lee High School, who has been selected as this week’s HCS Changemaker!
Ms. Davis comes from a family of educators, including her grandmother and aunt who both taught math, and her mother who transitioned from teaching history to being an administrator at Providence Elementary. She says that she always knew that school was important while growing up, but it wasn’t until college that she began to understand the importance of having a teacher who really enjoyed what they were doing. While she did examine going into a medical field, she kept spending a large amount of her free time doing math homework she didn’t even have to do. She really wanted to help people, though, and so teaching became a way to combine her two passions. For her, it was kind of like going back to her family roots.
“Ms. Davis is very passionate,” says Lee High Principal Tony Woods, “she’s very thoughtful, she truly embeds what we mean when we say FamiLEE.” Ms. Davis uses engagement activities at the beginning of every class to relate the lesson and standards to the real world. Her students use interactive notebooks, which involve a little bit of craft work, and she also uses a lot of small group instruction to help students who might be struggling with a concept. One of the biggest things she’s known for in the school is letting the students write on their desks with Expo markers. She says it’s a small piece of engagement, but it makes a huge difference for the students who can often be found working problems out on their desk.
Lee High student Janyra Holman says, “Ms. Davis has pushed me tremendously from my Junior year to my twelfth-grade year.” Samir Allen says, “Ms. Davis is an amazing teacher – she’s really encouraging.” He goes on to say that she helps students get past anything, both inside and outside of school.
When she isn’t teaching, Ms. Davis is very involved in her church and the young professionals program there. She says they do a lot of service projects, such as cleaning houses through the Lincoln Village Ministry. She also enjoys spending time with friends and especially likes going out to eat. She spends most of her free time, however, supporting Lee High School students as much as possible, which often includes attending sporting events and other after-school activities.
Ms. Davis says that her ultimate goal for students is to feel like they can accomplish something, even something that looks foreign to them like math. She sets high expectations for them to become problem solvers, to figure out what resources they need to figure something out, and to know who they can ask for help. At the end of the day, she just wants them to become learners. The success she has at accomplishing this enables her to change lives for the better every day.