Little Encourages Students
To Master Content,
'Heart for Teaching'
Little has been teaching since he was a 10-year-old in Chilton
County. "I would teach what I had learned in school to
my younger brother and friends from down the street,"
he recalled. "I charged them five cents per lesson."
A Samford faculty member since 1988, Dr. Little is the 2001
winner of the John H. Buchanan Award for Excellence in Classroom
Teaching. He received the award and accompanying $1,000 check
from Samford Acting Provost Joe Lewis during the semester-opening
convocation in August.
is director of elementary education in the teacher education
department of Samford's Orlean Bullard Beeson School of Education
and Professional Studies. Finalists for the award were nominated
by members of the 2001 graduating class.
who nominated him consistently spoke both of his willingness
to stay late and do whatever was necessary to help them succeed,"
understandable why his former students so readily approve
of his teaching strategies.
wake up in the morning, and I'm ready to come teach,"
said Little. " Why? I can tell that the students need
me. I can see it in their eyes, and through their requests
Buchanan Award winner David Little says
he wakes up ready to teach.
teaches undergraduate students classroom management and strategies
that will encourage their students to read. He teaches advanced
courses in reading strategies to graduate students. He is coordinator
of the Samford Summer Institute for Teaching Excellence, a program
for outstanding educators, and of the Horizons program for freshman
skill and dedication, noted Lewis, contributed to the Samford education
school's 2000 National Award for Effective Teacher Preparation from
the U.S. Department of Education.
Educating future teachers is more than imparting information, Little
believes. "I want my students to develop a heart for teaching
as well as master the content," he said.
Little earned his undergraduate and master's degrees at the University
of Montevallo and doctorate in elementary education at the University
of Alabama. A counseling and psychology major, he became one of
the first elementary school counselors in Alabama. But he wasn't
wanted to be teaching," he recalled. So he moved to the elementary
school classroom for 13 years and ultimately joined the Samford
faculty. He believes that experience gives him more credibility
with university students.
Little's greatest reward, he says, is seeing Samford students graduate
and become teachers.
Thinking back, Little recalls that his childhood buddies still owe
him tuition for all those lessons he taught them. Perhaps the Buchanan
award check will help erase the tab.