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A New Power at d.tech

Vani Suresh | vsuresh19@dtechhs.org | February 5, 2019

JD Power is a student teacher for this year’s chemistry classes. Photo by Jaya Reddy

A teacher must be fearless. To chase after a student’s education and growth can be compared to chasing a wild bear through the forest. Student Teacher J.D. Power has done just that. On a cool misty morning in the Trinity Alps of Northern California, Power caught sight of a bear. In a “sleep deprived, dehydrated state,” he tried to chase the bear, only to be stopped by his girlfriend. This fearlessness has come in handy in his unique teaching experience.

Power started his teaching career with a simple motivation: he did not want to move back in with his parents. When he got an offer to teach, he made a quick decision to take a teaching job at Mustardseed School, and it changed his life. Mustardseed is a temporary school for children in elementary and middle school, whose families are going through homelessness.

This was an incredibly unique teaching experience, as Power’s students were coming and going –  he received new students every week. When faced with what to teach them, he decided to teach whatever he noticed the majority of kids were struggling with. This ended up being math and English much of the time, although he enjoyed teaching science and history.

More than teaching, however, Power noted that his most important role as a teacher at Mustardseed was being a constant figure in his students’ unstable lives. Power explains, “I was filled with a passion to teach but recognized that I was terrible at it.” Last year, he decided to go to school to learn how to become a better teacher, with the intention of going back to teaching at Mustardseed after if he could.

Power was accepted into the Stanford Teacher Education Program and is currently in his second semester there. He has come to d.tech as part of this program, co-teaching with Greg Fenner and incorporating the lessons he learns at Stanford with d.tech’s model of education. Other staff are grateful to have him here as well for his helpfulness and positive attitude. Rachel Siegman, Internship Coordinator and teacher, says, “[Power] is always so willing to help out…the soup in the staff room started beeping and we didn’t know what to do, and he unplugged the pot and replugged it and the soup was saved!” Power is clearly already a valued member of the d.tech community.

Currently, Power student-teaches with Fenner for two periods in the morning before going back to Stanford to study. As part of his graduate-study program, he has started “taking on more responsibility through this semester,” and will become the lead teacher this semester. We’re all excited for what the future holds!

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