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  • Nola Coyne

Mr. Davis Became a Teacher to ‘Fix How Science Is Taught’

Mr. Davis at his desk in room 27 / Credits: Nola Coyne

Harrison Davis has been a physics teacher at Walls since 2020, but was a student not long before that, graduating in 2014. He remembers having a positive experience at Walls. He was very involved as a student, participating in Robotics Club, crew, and even his own Rubik’s Cube Speed-Solving club.

Mr. Davis favorably recalled his advisory, which was led by Ms. Tyson. He said that there were a lot of people he “knew and could rely on.” His group remained the same all four years and served as a strong source of support outside of class.

Mr. Davis also liked the Walls humanities program, saying there were things he “was exposed to and thought about differently” from students at other schools. When he got to college, he felt more prepared for humanities classes than peers who had taken “traditional English classes” in high school.

Mr. Davis’s favorite class in high school wasn’t physics, but chemistry. He said Ms. Piper’s class inspired his interest in science because he liked “learning about what was going on and the things [he] couldn’t see.”

His interest in learning how the world worked motivated him to take AP Physics C instead of an introductory physics class his junior year. Because he had no prior course experience in physics, which is usually required to take AP Physics C, his dad helped him work through a school textbook the summer before his junior year. He struggled a lot, saying that it was a “tough class without having a background” in the subject.

After graduating from Walls, Mr. Davis considered majoring in engineering but ultimately decided on physics. During his senior year, while applying to graduate schools, he realized that he wasn’t interested in doing academic research.

Mr. Davis first considered becoming a science teacher when he observed a general ignorance towards science during Donald Trump’s presidency. He said he saw education “as a place to go and fix problems with how science and physics are taught generally.” Mr. Davis also participated in educational outreach programs throughout high school and college which he had enjoyed doing.

Mr. Davis encouraged Walls students to “be curious about the stuff you learn in school,” especially with subjects a student might dislike. He said classes can be easier and more fun with a positive perspective.

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