Student Spotlight: Introducing Justin Davis

We had the pleasure of sitting down with Justin Davis to discuss his schooling experience and what brought him to aspire to become a school health educator. Justin is a junior at UMF and graduated from Washburn High School. Justin is in the Secondary Education practicum this semester, where he will be able to experience the classroom for the first time, which is exciting yet nerve-wracking for the pre-service educator.

Justin Davis
Class of 2020
Community Health Education- School Health
Washburn District High School
Washburn, Maine

UMF College of Education, Health, and Rehabilitation: What is the most exciting thing that you have experienced so far at UMF, and how will that come into play as a pre-service gym/health teacher?

Justin: I think the most exciting thing about UMF is being in the community. The amount of diversity that this campus has to offer along with the feeling of community and togetherness. Having been here for a few years, I realize that it is possible to create a similar positive community  in the classroom. Being part of such a great community, I know that in my future learning community my students can become besties, as I have experienced with my peers in my Secondary Education Practicum block this fall.

UMF CEHR: What brought you to UMF and why did you choose community health?

Justin: I started at Northern Maine Community College and from there I completed some of my general education credits to see if I was capable of handling college. I realized, that in fact, I was very capable of handling a four-year university and really wanted to pursue that path. I knew that I wanted to attend UMF because my step mother went here for community health and found great success after graduation. I realized that with a community health degree there is a lot of opportunities and the faculty will direct you to your passions. Community health has a broad spectrum and I knew that with this degree I could become a gym teacher like I have always wanted to. Coming to UMF made me realize I was capable of college and becoming a gym/health teacher. There is always room for flexibility within community health. If I decided that education was not for me, I could always take another route within community health and I am glad that I have that opportunity.

UMF CEHR: Who is really influential in your life and how did they inspire you to become a teacher?

Justin: A lot of people in my life influenced me to become a teacher. I cannot really pinpoint one person. My parents, camp counselors, and teachers were all good influences on my life. They all influenced me and seemed to recognize that I could handle situations that a teacher could be in, and helped me figure out what direction I wanted to go in. All of the people who influenced me helped me recognize that I was capable of becoming a teacher and that is when I believed that I was able to do it.

UMF CEHR: What do you hope to gain from your program?

Justin: I want to gain knowledge and skills to be able to teach to the best of my ability. To know my concentration facts and to continuously engaged in research every year. If I see someone [former student] on the street who has a question about health, I want to be able to put them in the right direction and correctly answer their question.

UMF CEHR: If you could ask a question to an alumni from Community Health (School Health), what would you want to know about post-UMF life?

Justin: I guess it would be how easy was it to get a job, because they don’t really have many options. Given the limited amount of spots a school offers for health and gym educators, it can be difficult to find a job. A school can have 3-4 English/Language Arts educators, but there is only 1-2 gym/health educators, which makes the job market tighter.

UMF CEHR: Can you explain your role at the Fitness and Recreation Center (FRC) and how that helps you improve on your knowledge as a Community Health major?

Justin: At the FRC, I am the student leader of the building attendants which is the bridge from the regular building attendants to the supervisors. For my role, I have to know a lot about the tools and activities that happen at the FRC and activities. I know how all of the tools and equipment operate, the group fitness schedule, and communicating with the building attendants.

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