Educational Therapist, Teacher Helps Students Reach Their Highest Potential

Henry Davis attended UCLA and The University of Southern California, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa in psychology. After completing a teacher credential program at Northeastern Illinois University, he received a master’s degree in school psychology from Loyola University, followed by post-graduate studies in math learning disabilities at Northwestern University. With over 35 years in education, Mr. Davis’ career has had many twists and turns but has always retained a common theme of helping students in need. He began his teaching career teaching reading for CPS. Then, he went on to teach math, his passion, at Parker, his alma mater. Following his work at Parker, he was a school psychologist in Elgin District U-46, for 31 years, while also conducting a private practice in educational therapy and math tutoring. Since he wanted students to enjoy their learning, he created 22 educational games, which were translated into five languages and sold throughout the world. After retiring from Elgin two years ago, he became a founding faculty member at Wolcott School, a new high school for students with learning differences, where he teaches math and learning strategies.

(Photo Courtesy of Henry Davis)

(Photo Courtesy of Henry Davis)

What are the responsibilities of your current role and what is your favorite part of your daily duties?

“As a teacher at Wolcott, I help each student reach his or her potential by understanding a student’s strengths and weaknesses and tailoring the instruction to meet the needs of each learning profile. I feel that all learners can find academic success in school if given the proper tools, support, and encouragement. My favorite part of this role is seeing the spark of recognition on the students’ faces when they understand a concept that has eluded them for years. As an educational therapist, I act as case manager for each student, facilitating all the services the student is receiving to maximize performance and engagement. My favorite part of this role is the one-on-one relationship that is formed with each student.”

Do you feel your education prepared you for your current role?

“My education has prepared me well for my current roles. As an undergraduate at UCLA, I developed learning games at the Fernald School. At Northeastern, I learned the practical aspects and challenges of teaching in a classroom. At Loyola, I learned learning theory and the complexities of the role of a school psychologist, while at Northwestern I learned how to integrate his previous success with students with research and new findings in math education.”

Do you have any advice for people who desire to pursue a similar career?

“My advice to anyone wanting to enter the fields of education, psychology, or educational therapy is to follow your passion with drive and determination. Your first job may not be an ideal position, but it can serve as a stepping stone for future growth and development as a lifelong learner.”

Michelle Guilbeau is a writer, reviewer, teacher and business owner living in Chicago, Illinois. She also has experience in school administration, literacy coaching and is proud founder of CraftKitsForKids.com and MichelleGuilbeau.com Michelle enjoys sharing her knowledge of Chicago, food, travel, education and parenting issues with her readers. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.

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