David Sceggel

I met David at North High School at iFLT about four years ago in Denver. Seeing him teach there made me see that he is a master of CI technique.

My name is David Sceggel. I teach Spanish 1-4 at Midland High School in Varna, IL. I am the only foreign language teacher in the district. I have a really good situation here. I graduated from Illinois State with a Technology Education degree and taught technology one year in Surrey, South London, UK. After that, I taught four years of Jr. High technology in Bloomington/Normal, IL. In the spring of 2007, I left my position and worked at an orphanage in Magdalena de Kino, Sonora, Mexico. I became a “dad” to nine boys aged 6-15. My language skills at the time were terrible, but with time I became pretty fluent with a good northern Mexican accent. In the summer of 2009, I left the orphanage to marry my wife and we moved back to central Illinois. I jumped through the hoops to get certified in HS Spanish, and somehow, someway, talked my way into a job. During that summer I kind of freaked out about the coming year and a wise teacher directed me to Blaine Ray. After reading a page in German at a conference in KC, I was completely sold. Devoured everything I could get my hands on. (TPRS in a Year! and PQA in a Wink!) Last year I had such success with Spanish 1,2, and 4. We were laughing and making huge gains. I had parents thanking me. It was awesome. However Spanish 3 hated me. I didn’t know where to start with them, and went from too easy to too hard, and eventually the rich white girls (90% of the class) just stopped participating. Each day was a black hole of energy and I eventually just did mostly reading. This year everything is going better. Circling with Balls went awesome in Spanish 1, and I didn’t really know how to do PQA, until I saw Ben Slavic do it at NTPRS this summer. Now I love PQA, so much fun. My weakness is definitely upper level classes, but I think once I get to teach students that I’ve had for all their Spanish instruction, things will go better.

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7 thoughts on “David Sceggel”

  1. What an amazing and inspiring story. So great to read. Thanks, David! It’s yet another reminder that those miserable classes come and go from every teacher’s life. I am learning to take them not so much to heart or think of them as failures. I hope to meet you in Chattanooga this summer. Will you be there?

  2. Angie you’ve not met David formally but you worked on doing CI with him in the audience. He was sitting just in front of John Bracey and I in that first War Room session at North about a half hour after you taught your lesson. Then Piazza did the bridge thing, then Hosler both in Latin and then David in Spanish.

  3. No, I can’t make any conferences this summer, we have our second child due in early August. I wish I could though, I take away so much from watching people do CI.

    Also, this bio is already 5 years old. A couple of things I would add.

    I got a lot better at upper levels over the last few years with The Special Chair/Person. Also what I said about waiting a few years until I could have only TPRS taught kids really came true. I wish every language teacher could have the joy of teaching the same students for four straight years with this. You have so many shared stories/inside jokes/goofy history that its just fun.

    This year’s salutatorian wrote me a letter thanking me for teaching in a way that didn’t require him to memorize. He said he wishes all his teachers would just teach in a way that you just learn without trying.

    thanks,
    david

    1. Congratulations on your little one on the way. And the inspiring letter. How cool is that to read a bio from 5 years ago and see how you’ve changed like opening a time capsule. There have to be more bios like this, and when Ben gets back, we have to hound him for them.

    2. That’s great to hear David, that you have such a wonderful relationship with your students. Such a great thing to aspire to. Thanks for the bio, and follow-up… very interesting. Wishing you and your family, with the new one coming, all the best!

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