David Greenfield likes learning. He likes teaching because he’s around learning, and he likes the scholarship he was recently awarded from Professional Educators of Iowa, because it will help fund his own continued learning.
Greenfield, 28, of Ames, has just finished his fourth year of teaching and coaching in the Colo-NESCO school district. He teaches eighth-grade social studies and high school classes in American History and government, along with a class called Modern Conflict.
After his mother, who is the guidance counselor at Webster City schools, saw the information about the Professional Development Scholarship being offered through Professional Educators of Iowa (PEI), she sent her son, who is also a PEI member, a link. Greenfield found out recently that he was awarded a scholarship that will help him pay for his pursuit of a master’s degree in instructional technology and how to effectively integrate technology in the classroom.
“It’s all online,” he said of his upcoming studies that will happen through Fort Hays State University in Kansas. Online will work great with the busy schedule of Greenfield, who is an assistant high school football coach, junior high boys’ basketball coach, junior high boys’ track coach and is also a National Guard member. “I needed one (a program) that’s more flexible,” he said.
A graduate of Northeast Hamilton High School and University of Northern Iowa, Greenfield said earning a master’s degree, while it can open up other job opportunities, is just, for him, a way to enhance his teaching abilities. “I’d like to stay in the classroom…and I enjoy technology, it’s kind of a passion for me.”
Greenfield said that Colo-NESCO’s use of 1-to-1 laptop learning has been a great thing for students, and with the courses he’ll now be taking, “I can find new strategies to enhance our learning.”
As he looks to the corner of his room, where several shelves of textbooks are sitting, he said his students have never used them. He said textbooks are still needed in some areas, “but social studies is kind of unique, because there’s so many resources online to use.”
Colo-NESCO, he added, is also going more into “project-based” learning, and that opens up lots of possibilities with what can be done through technology.
“I think online and computers keeps students’ interested more … You still have to be sure it’s focused on learning, but if you can come up with engaging lessons, that’s the key.”
PEI’s Foundation allots over $8,000 in scholarship money each year for Iowa students, educators and education volunteers. It is a statewide association that offers educators a choice in their professional membership. The priority for PEI is putting students first, and promoting a sense of dedication and purpose to the teaching profession.
Greenfield loves the teaching profession. “I enjoy getting the opportunity to engage kids every day, and I really enjoy being at a small school with small class sizes… That’s what I know.”