David Harnish is a 2012 graduate from Flanagan, Illinois. He graduated with an education and history degree to pursue his goal of being a high school history teacher.
Why Goshen College?
David is passionate about social justice and intercultural learning. Of course, he chose a college with the same priorities.
“Goshen really focuses on international awareness,” said David. “I feel like the people are interested in the issues and problems that I see everywhere. I chose to be a history major so I could teach in low income schools with students who have not had access to the privileges I was given.”
And, as a future educator, David wanted passionate teachers to show him the way.
“In the history department, the professors are incredibly intelligent, of course, but they’re also just so personable. You can just drop by and have tea with them.”
As a student at Goshen College, David learned what it takes to be a high school history teacher. But sitting in on lectures was only a small part of his education.
“I worked as a teaching assistant for some of my profs. I sat in for them when they were gone, just going in and running their classroom for a while, grading papers and tests, whatever came up. And I was doing all of this in my third year.”
David’s teaching practice did not end there. As a sophomore, he spent three months living in Peru and volunteering at an elementary school through Goshen’s required cross-cultural program, Study-Service Term. For one full semester, David spent every day at a high school in Elkhart, Indiana, running a classroom on his own.
“My student-teaching experience was a wonderful example of the joys of teaching in a semi-urban setting. Encouraging and helping several students raise their grades from failing to passing was one of the highlights of teaching for me.”
Nothing beats hands-on experience.
Where to from here?
David is excited to get back in the classroom.
“I’m passionate about many things, but above everything else I’ve found that I thrive on interactions with students — I love helping students learn and watching them grow. On a performance evaluation sheet at the end of my student teaching, one of my students wrote: ‘He makes me feel smart for the first time.’ That’s exactly what I want to do.”
After four years of preparation at Goshen College, he’s ready.
— written by Anna Ruth ’12, photos by Alex Pletcher ’14