Teacher Tribute: David Shingler - Tucson News Now

Empire's Shingler has high expectations for students

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

David Shingler isn't your average English teacher.

He has beyond high expectations for his students at Empire High School.

"I'm kind of tired of seeing mediocrity, so I want them to be able to exceed themselves daily," Shingler said.

First, he makes them aware of what's going on in the world.

What better way to do that than watching the news.

"They're going to be leaders some day and they're going to have to deal with these situations, so let them be in tune, let them be informed," Shingler said.

The news runs for about 10 to 15 minutes, then it's off to the day's lesson.

They go from a traditional classroom setting to taking things apart. It seems to be the norm in Shingler's class, his way of getting his students to think outside the box.

Students use chairs to represent the struggle between power and control.

Shingler gives them different topics and they have to work together to create a scene as they see it in their life.

"We all have different perspectives on how it should be placed and how we all look at different things. So we try to make it even so we have two sides of the story," sophomore Callie Hegner said.

Senior Aaron Archuleta said, "It wasn't just an a, b, c answer. We have to think outside of the box – how the chairs and tables represent things that we've learned throughout our class."

While Shingler expects a lot from his students, he also sets the bar high for himself. And that's where he gets his creative teaching style – constantly challenging himself to come up with new and creative ways of teaching, even collaborating with other teachers.

"He's the perfect balance of being able to teach you your core info while also making the class fun and talking about real world stuff.  Not just sticking to whatever the test wants you to talk about," senior Corey Craig said.

Shingler said, "I want them to bring their strengths to the classroom because that enhances the discussion, the questions that I'm asking, the bar that I have for them."

Maybe that high bar got instilled in him while attending grad school. After all, he is a UA grad!

Shingler has been teaching in southern Arizona for eight years.

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