UB alumnus inspires students in the classroom
Recent University of Bridgeport (UB) Elementary Education graduate, David Dimbo, has a big dream. He would like to build a network of after school programs to begin to lessen the achievement gap in his hometown of Bridgeport.
Dimbo is a Therapeutic Support Facilitator at Bridgeport Learning Center where he is a well-loved teacher to his students. He shared the secret that makes him such a popular teacher, “I try to catch their attention where they are.” He explained that sometimes he has to sing or dance during presentations. For example, his students were learning the months of the year and he helped them learn by singing the months to the tune of the “Macarena.”
Dimbo started his studies in a different field than education. While he was completing a master in criminal justice and offender rehabilitation studies, he had a realization: “I thought to myself, instead of rehabilitating offenders, I can rehabilitate students to prevent them from entering the criminal justice system.” He decided to make a career change and become an educator.
Following his career dream, Dimbo enrolled in the Elementary Education program at UB. He said, “UB was the best choice for me – the class size was excellent. I feel I was able to ask more questions in class because of the number of people in the program.”
Dimbo said that his time at UB was a great journey for him, and that his advisor and professors played a big role in shaping him as an educator. He said that his advisor, Professor Joyce Cook, was very influential in helping him to complete the coursework he needed to obtain his teaching credentials. He valued Dr. Cook’s support and motivation because, at times, balancing school, work and his personal life was hard for him. Cook remembers Dimbo fondly, “David was always on task and equally engaged with both the students in the school where he taught, as well as his UB course studies. His academic courses always demonstrated a depth of intellectual inquiry and solid pedagogical practice that was unique.” She further added that Dimbo “embodies the many aspects that make an exceptional educator, who effects positive change in the lives of the students that he teaches.”
Another professor who had a big influence on Dimbo was Nancy DeJarnette. Dimbo said that Dr. DeJarnette motivated him to finish the program. She recalls Dimbo as a “charismatic candidate who is passionate about the teaching profession.” She always observed that he had a smile on his face and a positive attitude, regardless of any academic stress he may have felt.
Professor Steven Rosenberg was another mentor to Dimbo during his time at UB, “Dr. Rosenberg showed me why getting into character was so important in teaching.” Rosenberg remembers Dimbo from his early childhood literacy and methods, and materials of language arts courses, “Through David’s high level of academic performance, and class and personal discussions, I learned that David has a deep commitment to be the best teacher he can be so that he can help his students reach their full potential.”
Dimbo is one of many success stories that has come from UB’s education programs. Cook believes that “David exemplified the overall high caliber of educators that the UB program has produced over the years.” School of Education graduates have won numerous accolades and awards such as National Teacher of the Year (Jahana Hayes '14 ), Emmy Award winner (Melissa Salguero '15 ) and Connecticut State’s Teacher of the Year (Jahana Hayes '14 and John Mastroianni '82).
In the near future, Dimbo would like to acquire the necessary qualifications to become a school principal. The biggest aspiration that he has is to open up a network of after school programs, with the goals of reducing the achievement gap and helping his community.