David McGlashon '18 Has Found His Place in the Classroom

David McGlashon '18

David McGlashon '18 plans on returning to Geneseo to pursue a master's degree in education and later teach in a urban classroom.

David McGlashon saw the light bulb click in the minds of immigrant students while tutoring them at the House of Grace Church in Buffalo.

“Their excitement about learning spring boarded me to education,” said McGlashon said. “I changed majors and transferred to Geneseo, the top teaching school in the area.”

As a childhood/special education major with a natural sciences concentration, McGlashon credits the Ella Cline Shear School of Education with providing him the skills to be an effective teacher.

“Even from the first semester in education you are placed in an actual classroom,” said McGlashon, who is from Henrietta, N.Y.

Also unique, placements include schools that are urban, suburban, and rural, exposing future teachers to different environments and surroundings.

“My experience in School 12 in Rochester, a bilingual school, solidified that I was going into the right field. I could see low performing students improve rather quickly while we were there,” said McGlashon.

He also was surprised to learn that one of his professors, Lisa Johnson, an adjunct professor of education, was also the principal of the Ellis B. Hyde Elementary School, part of the Dansville Central School District, 30 minutes south of the College.

“She brought us to her school and gave us real expectations. It felt like we were faculty members as opposed to students, and this was so helpful in applying for jobs in the future,” said McGlashon.

McGlashon’s skills were put to the test when he received his student teaching placement assignment in a self-contained “12-1-1-12” room at the Churchville Elementary School in the Churchville-Chili Central School District. The inclusion classroom contained students with behavioral disabilities including autism, speech, and other challenges.

Inspired a by a presentation by Educator of America’s 2016 Educator of the Year Award winner and alumna Colleen McNamara M.S. ’10, McGlashon decided to work to launch a physical transformation of the classroom. The room was restructured with a gingerbread house theme.

“After the transformation, student work quality went up, and they were more motivated,” said McGlashon.

Principals from across the Churchville-Chili Central School District came to visit the room and saw the progress first hand by the students. Principal David Johnson was among those impressed , saying, “We don’t have something like that in the building.”

McGlashon was immediately invited to substitute teach in the district and is helping the district launch similar room transformations. He was awarded the Gold Key Award for student teaching by the school district.

Soon after, McGlashon returned to Geneseo and passed the teachers certification exam. In 2017, 122 students sat for the NYS EAS teacher exam at Geneseo, with 99.2% passing, exceeding the state-wide pass rate.

After graduation, McGlashon is returning to Geneseo to pursue a masters degree in B-12 reading and literacy at Geneseo. He would like to work in an inclusion classroom in an urban school, preferably in Rochester.

“Geneseo proudly challenged me to be a better teacher and individual who can make the greatest impact in students’ lives,” said McGlashon. “I have also made valuable connections and friendships that have really impacted my professional and personal development as I work towards a career that I love.”

 - by Kitrick McCoy '19




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