Da Vinci’s long time Study Skills class got a new room and two new teachers this year. Thomas Kurth and Melissa Schiller are now helping the Da Vinci students with their school projects in Room 15.
Thomas Kurth graduated from UC Berkeley with a History degree, has been a water polo coach at UC Davis and lived in Australia for a couple of years before teaching study skills at Da Vinci. However, he actually kind of fell into teaching study skills. “ It wasn’t something I studied for but it’s been a really great learning experience,” he said.
Melissa Schiller graduated from UC Davis with an English degree and then went into the screen printing industry. “Besides that, I am really into making music and crafts and I love my dog,” she adds.
She got into study skills through the counselors. “They knew I wanted to do more one on one work here and study skills classes are really small, so it is good place to do one on one work with students,” she said.
Mr. Kurth and Ms. Schiller both appreciate the style of Da Vinci. “Da Vinci is really a neat place because of these big projects although a lot of times it can be overwhelming,” said Mr. Kurth. “I just really like the project based learning style, to me it is like a real world situation. I think it is a really good learning way for students and it is good to prepare people that way.”
He describes the Project Based learning style as a pizza. “It is like a huge pizza, right and you have to eat little slices everyday and if you do that, it is manageable but if you don’t, it is hard. That is kind of what we do in study skills. Help and teach students how to break it off in small slices,” he said.
Ms. Schiller really enjoys teaching Study Skills too and wishes that she had it in her school. “It is kind of an extra layer of support for all the classes that students have at Da Vinci,” she said.
They also really enjoy Da Vinci in general. “Da Vinci is the first school I worked at,” said Ms. Schiller, “but it is also the only school I really want to work at because it has such a great atmosphere, not only among the teachers I met first but the students, who are so caring about each other.”