home d.tech life Who is Dave?

Who is Dave?

Daphne Palmeter | dpalmeter19@dtechhs.org | September 16, 2018
Photo by Matthew Silverman

In an attempt to build better connections with students and make the classroom a little less formal, d.tech’s one and only statistics, calculus, and Algebra 2 teacher, Mr. David Groat, has announced that this year, he would like students to call him by his first name: Dave.

“I actually tried to do this two years ago when I first started at d.tech,” Groat says regarding his decision. He adds that prior to becoming a teacher, he never wanted to go by his last name, but that at his last school it was simply the norm. When he got to d.tech, they gave him full choice, but it didn’t end up happening.

Many of Groat’s students last year called him by his surname simply because they were unaware of his intent. “Last year I literally forgot to mention it on the first day of class, so I just went with [my last name],” Groat explains. One such student, d.tech senior Derrick Kwan, says, “I’m so used to calling him Mr. Groat that I would never think of calling him Dave.”

Fellow senior Thomas Weese says that he also has a difficult time moving away from “Mr. Groat.” “It just kinda comes out,” explains Weese, “I’ll just be like, ‘Mr. Groat! …agh, wait, sorry!’”

However, for some students, such as Julia Reid, the shift has been easy. “It’s cool,” she says, “Dave is a chill man.”

A student in Groat’s Algebra 2 class, Liam Norr says that while he’s not exactly comfortable with calling Groat “Dave” yet, he feels that it makes Groat feel less like a teacher and more like, “someone [he] can talk to . . . sort of like a friend.

Groat says that if you can’t call him “Dave”, that’s okay – just “Groat” will do, or even “Mr. Groat” if that’s what it takes to make you comfortable in his class. However, no matter what you call him, he’s still the same beloved orange-shirt-wearing, dragon-loving, d.tech math teacher.


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