Language Teacher David Eifert values mentors who foster and empower future leaders
Posted on 11/01/2019
Head shot of language teacher David Eifert smiling with glasses

Although in his fifth year as a PWCS educator, David Eifert vividly remembers his first days in the classroom. Particularly memorable, and scary, was his first classroom observation by his supervisor. Eifert describes that experience and how it, and other interactions with respected colleagues, have helped mold him into someone who uses his own strengths and leadership skills to help others realize their potential in an article published in the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language magazine, “Focus Topic: Empowering Teacher Leaders.”

The article, “From New Teacher to Teacher Leader: An Early-Career Perspective on Becoming an Empowered Teacher Leader,” shares Eifert’s perspective on how PWCS successfully fostered his journey as an educator. Anticipating the worst in that early experience, Eifert was relieved and encouraged when his supervisor put him at ease and proceeded to relate the best practices observed in Eifert’s teaching.

“I’ll never forget how valued and significant I felt as a first-year teacher to hear what I effectively contributed to world language student learning,” writes Eifert.

Eifert, who taught Spanish at Gar-Field High School for four years and also became the school’s 21st Century Community Learning Center grant coordinator, started this 2019-20 school year as an instructional coach to other new teachers in the PWCS Offices of Professional Learning and Student Learning/World Language program. Eifert credits his progress to the leaders in his program who have continually supported him.

“The veteran teachers in my department demonstrated daily that teachers must share strategies and resources with one another liberally in order to reach the common goal of student success,” Eifert shares in the article. “In a language department or division, the ability to support one another by balancing strengths and weaknesses makes empowered leaders out of many unassuming educators.”

Beyond PWCS, Eifert also shares his skills beyond the School Division through presentations and professional development opportunities. Most recently, he offered the “Planning and Pacing for New Teachers” workshop at the Foreign Language Association of Virginia’s 2019 Conference held October 3-5 in Williamsburg, where other Division colleagues also presented.

Eifert holds a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and another in teaching English as a second language, but says he never expected this path.

“Being from the farm lands of Pennsylvania and not speaking Spanish natively, I had originally never pictured myself teaching high school Spanish…but I have greatly enjoyed teaching the language that I love to students from all over the world here in PWCS!” said Eifert, an avid traveler who has visited 15 countries on five continents and says he “always has his next trip in the works!”