Name: David Ngbea
Year Started: 1991
Classes Taught: In-school suspension (ISS)
Education: B.A. From University of the District of Columbia and Trinity College
Previous Jobs: waiter/manager of servers at a nightclub, tennis instructor, private tennis coach
Hobbies: tennis, swimming, being outdoors
The first things noticed about Ngbea are his thick accent and continuously smiling face. The accent comes from growing up in Nigeria and attending school in England, and the wide smile comes from a generally pleasant disposition. Paired, they have helped many students relax for the first time since their entrance into the ISS classroom.
Ngbea fondly recalls a particular incident in which a student refused to speak with her administrators and teachers. When she arrived, Ngbea was informed of the girl's mute state, but immediately after her administrators and teachers left, the girl opened up to Ngbea and allowed him to help her.
Although Ngbea says that he is very happy with his job, he did not intend to become a teacher until he encountered a particularly influential instructor. "When I was in high school, I had a history teacher named Mrs. O'Brian," he muses. "She always spoke of passing knowledge to other people, and that got stuck in my head." As a school-going boy, Mrs. O'Brian's words inspired Ngbea to look into the field of teaching for his future.
Because of his background running track, Ngbea originally wished to go into the field of physical education. "When I came here [to the USA in 1978], I wanted to be a P.E. teacher because I was running track, but I changed my mind. I always thought, 'What if I get old? Then what?'" he recalls.
Upon realizing that he could not be a PE teacher forever, Ngbea chose to specialize in reading. He received his teaching degrees from the University of the District of Columbia and Trinity College. Upon joining the Blair community in 1991, Ngbea immediately opted for the ISS job, a job in which he felt that he could help students the most.
Even though his teaching did not lead him to a job involving sports, Ngbea stayed in tune with his athletic side. To fulfill his love of sports, Ngbea coaches both boys' and girls' tennis, and continues to teach private lessons outside of school. His passion for the outdoors extends past tennis, however. "'I like the Olympics, which come too infrequently,'" he laughs. "I like to go to the beach, and be anywhere near water." Ngbea says that he is also very interested in health and medicine, and he enjoys reading up on new developments in this field, especially in the area of natural healing.
Ngbea says that his youthful hobbies and interactive job have kept him in the best of health, but he has already begun to think about the future. Once his retirement nears, Ngbea would like to take the necessary courses to become an administrator and eventually become one, fulfilling a longtime goal. For now, however, Ngbea is content with his career choice. Of the many posters on his wall, he has one favorite, which he says exemplifies his motto as a teacher. "There is one particular [poster] that says, 'You have a question? Ask Mr. Ngbea.' I like to know that I am in a position where I can put students at ease," he smiles.
Priyanka Gokhale. More »