David Marchionda recognized as May 2015 Teacher of the Month
May 26, 2015
PA Cyber Charter School’s Teacher of the Month for May 2015 is David Marchionda. David is a native and resident of West Aliquippa, Pa., in Beaver County. He teaches 6th grade social studies in the Blended Classroom.
What made you want to become a teacher?
When I was 9, a niece came to live with our family when she was just a baby, and I helped raise her. I knew at that young age that working with kids, having direct impact on their lives, was my future. Every time I’m around kids I gravitate toward them. You need to have that special place in your heart for kids to be a teacher.
How long have you been at PA Cyber?
This is my fourth year. I graduated from Robert Morris University in 2008 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in K-6 Elementary Education, and started here in 2011 as a teacher assistant in the former Building Blocks Program. Last year I was an ETF – Elementary Teacher Facilitator – with the self-paced Lincoln Interactive curriculum.
What do you think about the change to the Blended Classroom?
I like it. It’s definitely more interaction and contact with the students. Before when I facilitated, I saw assignments and graded them, communicating with students by email. Now there’s a lot more ownership and accountability. You keep closer tabs on them, answer their questions, and get to know my students.
How many students do you have?
I have 275 students in six sections. I meet online with each class once a week, two sections each on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. I give them direction and they go off and do it. Students log in each day. I have tutoring and office hours to work with any that are having problems. I make videos to accompany lessons and exams to test comprehension.
What might people be surprised to learn about you?
I love doing martial arts as part of an active and healthy lifestyle. Four years ago I took up jiu-jitsu, training with Steel City Martial Arts in Mt. Lebanon. It’s something I had never experienced before, and never thought I’d be doing at this level. It’s humbling and physically, mentally and spiritually challenging. It’s fun to let loose and release stress, too. It takes about 10 years to become a black belt. I’m a two-stripe blue belt now.
Does martial arts help you to become a better teacher?
Everyone needs to have a challenge in their lives, something to strive for. That’s a lesson I can pass along to my students. Bruce Lee said, “A teacher is never a giver of truth – he is a guide, a pointer to the truth that each student must find for himself. A good teacher is merely a catalyst.”
Casie Colalella / firstname.lastname@example.org
About PA Cyber
Serving students in kindergarten through 12th grade, the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School (PA Cyber) is one of the largest, most experienced, and most successful online public schools in the nation. PA Cyber's online learning environments, personalized instructional methods, and choices of curricula connect Pennsylvania students and their families with state-certified and highly-qualified teachers, and rich academic content that is aligned to state standards. Founded in 2000, PA Cyber is headquartered in Midland (Beaver County) and maintains a network of support offices throughout the state. As a public school, PA Cyber is open for enrollment by any school-age child residing in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and does not charge tuition to students or families.