David Fields, a 2008 M.Ed. graduate in social studies education, has been named the Clay County (Fla.) School District’s Teacher of the Year. Fields has been teaching advanced placement U.S. history and American government at Orange Park High School for the past seven years, and also designed a sports history course that requires students to research the history of a pro franchise or college team.
“I learned that being passionate about my profession helps to get students to buy into the subjects I teach,” Fields said. “Sometimes I think it’s crazy that I get paid to work every day and talk about subjects that I’m so interested in – whether it’s Teddy Roosevelt and the Progressive Movement or how instrumental he was in saving football from extinction in the early 1900s. “The Secondary ProTeach program at UF gave me the tools to enter my classroom on Day 1 as a consummate professional,” he added. “I need to adapt to new technology and content so I can meet the needs of students in the 21st century.” Students from Clay County (Fla.) Teacher of the year David Fields’ advanced placement U.S. History class show their support during a recent ceremony held at Orange Park High School. Fields’ former social studies education professor, Elizabeth Washington, said she wasn’t surprised to learn of Fields’ selection as Teacher of the Year. “Dave was very committed to making his lessons culturally relevant and engaging,” Washington said. “He was always very passionate during classroom discussions — always willing to think through challenging issues and make thoughtful contributions.” Fields, who also earned bachelor’s degrees in history and political science with a minor in secondary education at UF, will go on to compete to become Florida’s Teacher of the Year.
Clay Today, a weekly newspaper in Clay County, ran a recent article on his latest honor.