Banker Allen Davis takes on second career as kindergarten teacher

After 30 years as a banker in Tennessee, Alan Davis decided as a member of a school board it was time for a career change.

At that time, in the mid-1990s, Tennessee wanted to make kindergarten mandatory.
“We were interviewing a lot of teachers” for pre-kindergarten and kindergarten, he said. The teachers were motivated to make a difference, he said.

Davis asked himself, “What could you do that would have more meaning than to teach a child to read?”

Finding few other answers, Davis made his move, earning a master’s degree in early childhood education at Carson Newman College in Jefferson City, Tenn.

Davis and his wife moved to Lubbock six years ago when she got a job with Texas Tech.
“I wasn’t sure if Texas needed any bankers, but I was pretty sure they would need kindergarten teachers,” Davis joked.

Davis pointed out that many of the first Texans from the U.S. came from Tennessee.
“I tease the teachers, there would not be a Texas if not for Tennessee,” said Davis, adding that Sam Houston and Davy Crockett were Tennesseeans.

He said Lubbock isn’t that different from Tennessee.

“I missed the mountains when I first moved here,” he said. “But the people in Lubbock have been very nice.”

He started as a substitute at Willow Bend. He came initially for three days and never left, he said, filling in for different teachers throughout the year. The next year, he hired as a full-time teacher.

Davis now works with technology such as touch-screen displays that help students to learn to read, but he also focuses on teaching students about citizenship and history.

“I want my kids to know about citizenship. I want them to be successful. I want them to be stars,” said Davis.

In his class, students learn about money, but he was looking for a way to make it all come alive for them.

This week he brought current events to life in the classroom by attending the inauguration of President Barack Obama.

Davis has set up a blog at davisdc2009.blogspot.com where students can see pictures and video from his trip, as well as learn about Washington D.C., and government.

“I think it’s historic. I think it’s an exciting time for the country. I think it will be fun,” he said. “Hopefully our kids will be able to visit and see it one day.”

Davis said his students are excited about seeing some of the things they talk about in class every day.

Kindergartners took part in a schoolwide election during the presidential election, and the school’s youngest students backed Obama.

When teachers asked them why, Davis said, “They liked the way it sounds: O-BA-MA.”

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