David Wees

Formative Assessment Specialist, New Visions for Public Schools, New York City
BEd Secondary Option (Mathematics, 2002), MEd (UBC’s Master of Educational Technology)

 

When I started my coursework at UBC, little did I know that I was learning the skills and knowledge that would help support me in living on three different continents, in four different countries, and teach using five different curricular systems.

After graduating in 2002 from UBC, I moved to New York City and started my career at the School for Legal Studies in Brooklyn. At the time, New York City was experiencing a teacher shortage and British Columbia was excessing teachers because of budget cuts so the move made sense. Happily, in New York I met the love of my life. We married in 2005 and now have two wonderful boys together.

Three years later, my friend and fellow UBC alumni Philip Kurbis suggested that I come and visit him in London, England and this resulted in me moving to London with my wife and working at Southbank International School until the cost of living in London drove us to find a cheaper alternative. I found another job at a recruiting fair and this resulted in us living for two wonderful years in the exotic and exciting Bangkok, Thailand while I taught mathematics at Ruamrudee International School. During the evenings I co-authored a mathematics textbook and completed my Masters degree online through UBC’s Master of Educational Technology (MET) program. At these two schools I also learned how to teach using the International Baccalaureate program which served me well when we moved back to Vancouver, British Columbia and I taught at Stratford Hall. At Stratford Hall, I shifted my career from a full-time classroom teacher to a part-time instructional coach for technology and mathematics.

A couple of years ago we moved back to New York City where I continue to work as a formative assessment specialist for New Visions for Public Schools supporting 30 schools with curriculum and professional development. A key facet of our work is to develop the capacity of the teacher teams we work with to study the impact of their own teaching and make shifts in their teaching to change their impact. The work is simultaneously challenging and rewarding.