Mr. David Burrell is the 2020-2021 MCS Teacher of the Year
My Philosophy of Education
It is a tremendous honor to have been selected as the District Teacher of the year in Madison County. As an educator, I consider it a privilege to teach the youth of our county about the historical events that have served to mold our great nation and our people into a force for good. Equally important is my mission to instill in each of my students the concept of civic duty and responsibility, so that they can continue in the process of making this world into a better place for all people. The virtues of mutual respect and self-discipline are emphasized every day in my class as a pathway towards success. I believe these virtues must be cultivated in our children until each student forms a sense of personal ownership in the development of these virtues in their own lives. If we want a better world, we need better people. The students of Madison County are those better people. The relevance of embracing these virtues as a catalyst for the betterment of our schools, our communities and our nation as a whole cannot be overstated.
As an educator, I have the distinct honor of having served our nation as an Officer in the United States Army, a Pastor of two churches and a father of two wonderful daughters. All of these events have served to shape the person I am into a servant leader. My philosophy of education is firmly established in the belief that our leaders, both present and future, need to follow the principle of servant leadership. As a result, I now strive with all my energy to make this world a better place for every student I serve. Every day I have the opportunity to encourage, equip and empower the youth of our county to be successful and productive citizens.
In the classroom, I only have three guiding principles posted on my walls. They are stated in the affirmative: Be Disciplined, Be Respectful and Be Successful. These rules are not optional; they are directives on how to think and how to live. I believe all of my students can succeed in the classroom and in life. What my students need most in order to achieve these goals is consistent encouragement along with myself as their teacher holding them to very high standard of excellence. Helping students to see themselves as successful individuals while at the same time requiring students to put forth the effort necessary to be successful can be difficult. However, it is always worth the effort. The countless successes that I have seen from my students in the classroom and in the field of athletic competition give witness to the fact that our students in Madison County are as great and talented as any in our State.
If you detect from me a sense of pride in what my students are capable of accomplishing, you are 100% correct. It has been a priority throughout my teaching career to make every effort possible to communicate to my students how pleased I am with them. I want my students to be proud of who they are and where they are from. Experience has taught me that students will try to live up to the expectations placed upon them when they believe they will succeed. Experience has also shown that if students are given the means to succeed and are constantly exposed to positive reinforcement, the rate of their success is much higher than if left to chance. In my classroom I make it clear that success is the only option, they will succeed, and I will work to empower them with the knowledge and skills to accomplish that mission.
Three times during my career my students have achieved the highest scores in the State of North Carolina on their “End of Grade Tests.” In addition to these monumental achievements, my students have also exceeded expected academic growth every year, often accomplishing this feat with double digit growth. This data only reaffirms my belief that the students of Madison County are not only great, but truly are some of the best in the State.
Outside of the classroom I have served as the high school wrestling coach and am currently serving as a full time bus driver. These platforms have also given me the opportunity to take my philosophy of teaching on to the field of competition and into the lives of our students outside of school. As a coach, I was given the privilege of serving as a father figure to many of the young men I mentored. As a team, our priorities were simple: Morality matters. Be a good man. Put the team first. Work hard and God will bless your effort. When training is done the right way, I believe that both the team and the individual will be successful. By embracing this philosophy of success as a team, the young men of Madison County went undefeated 3 years in a row in conference competition. Along the way, our athletes also won numerous individual conference, regional and state championships. Our student athletes did things that no one before them had succeeded in accomplishing. I want the whole State to know that our students and our athletes in Madison County are winners.
Now, as a full time bus driver and teacher, I am taking my philosophy of positive interaction with my students to another level of engagement. Every morning and every evening when my students get on and off the bus, it is my mission to ensure that the students of Madison County hear something good about who they are and where they are from. These words of encouragement might be the only positive words they hear all day, and I am determined to make sure all my students hear something positive about themselves.
I am here to serve the students of Madison County. That is my life mission. I will be the first to tell anyone willing to listen that God has blessed me with much, and to whom much has be given, much is required. I want to use the gifts I have for the good of others. That is why I teach. I am a servant leader, and I intend to live my life on mission in service every day to the students of Madison County.
Educators need to be educated!
Master of Education, Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, North Carolina, (High Honors - 3.8 G.P.A.)
Master of Divinity, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas.
Bachelor of Arts, Psychology, R.O.T.C Cadet. University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee.
Thank you for the opportunity to tell you about my wonderful students.
Madison High School