I am Mr. Dave Cipolla, the 5th grade teacher at St. Joseph The Protector. I teach English Language Arts and Social Studies.
Thanks to the students and parents from the Class of 2018. You were truly the 1927 Yankees of classes-it was an honor to teach and watch you grow. Thank you to the parents for your generosity and support throughout this year. I will miss this class greatly. Best of luck next year and beyond. Here is a website I made alluding to all the activities we did this year. Have a great summer!
Here is the website dedicated to the Class of 2017 year. The Class of 2018 is awesome but I will always have a place for the Class of 2017. Miss you guys and girls! Hope enjoyed 6th grade!
I am entering my 5th year of teaching. Last year was my first at St. Joseph The Protector, and it could not have gone better. I was lucky to have a great grade partner in Mrs. Pritz and principal in Miss Fitz Gerald. But the kids and support of the parents likewise made it so incredible. Before StJP, the previous 3 was at St. Hilary of Poitiers just across town. At St. Hilary's, I taught Technology 3 days a week and did learning support the other 2. I had such a great experience working with all the grade levels there. The students were awesome to work with, and the parents and fellow teachers were very supportive. The students in particular gave me a lot of hope going forward.
I learned at St. Hilary's that I wanted to have the opportunity to teach my own homeroom. I graduated from La Salle University with a degree in Elementary/Special Education (with a third major in American Studies) in May 2010. I was able to student-teach Special Education mathematics at Philadelphia Academy Charter School. The grade levels were ranged from 6th to 8th. I also student-taught Elementary Education at Highland Elementary. It was 5th grade; and I was fortunate to work with Jeff Chou, who eventually won the PA Teacher of the Year award that following fall. As neat at St. Hilary's was, it was apparent I had to go elsewhere to get that opportunity.
Teaching Philosophy/Classroom Management Approach
I believe strongly in the humanistic philosophy; which focuses on teaching through emotion while building teacher-student relationships. From my experience the saying that "students want to know more that you care than care what you know" holds truth. The teachers I remember most are the ones that made me capable and good about myself for who I was; as opposed the ones that diminished me for who I wasn't. I believe that students need as much opportunity and demonstration as possibility. My ELA and Social Studies classes will have ample opportunities to suceed. Moreoever, I will be sure to make what I want clear via rubrics, visuals, and samples.
My classroom management approach is a fun one. During my last 2 years at St. Hilary's I employed a pennant race with both the younger grades (Pre-K through 3) and older grades (4 through 8). This year will be similar but will have differences. Mrs. Pritz's homeroom and mine will be divided into leagues-with Mrs. Pritz being the American League whereas mine will be the National League. The AL and NL teams will be in the eastern division. Grouped in tables of 5, the studentes will rotate between the teams every 6 weeks. Within these 6 weeks, the team with the best participation record (a win is when all the students on the team finish with a 1, whereas a loss is when 1 student or more finishes with a 0 or -1 participation score) After the last rotation, the students will return to their original team. The records before the first switch will resume, and the pennant race will be on until the end of May. The last week of classes will feature a race between the AL and NL winners for the World Series. The pennant and World Series winners will receive customized trophies. Throughout the year, the winners of the 6 week periods will receive group rewards.
My Educational Past/Family
I am one of five children, all of which went through Immaculate Conception School. I graduated in the Class of 2001, whereas my youngest brother Tom graduated last year in the first year of St. Joseph The Protector. My mom also taught 6th grade at Immaculate starting in the fall of 2006 through the end of the 2009 school year. She still holds independent art classes over at the Immaculate campus.
My dad is also a teacher. He has been teaching physics at La Salle College High School for 15 years. Dad taught there while I attended La Salle High. My sister-in-law, Professora Catalina, also taught at St. Joseph The Protector after years of teaching English for several years in Tijuana, Mexico. It would be safe to say that I come from a family of teachers!
Following Us/Contacting Me
Be sure to check the webpage throughout the year. I will try to add as many photos as possible, as well as update you on the pennant races, upload the latest radio show, and keep you afloat on the latest activities of the school year.
If you ever have any questions for me, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will try to get back to you as soon as I can.
For those with crazy hobbies, I have something for you. I helped co-found a wiffle ball league in 2010, and the league (and my obsession) grew to profound heights. I eventually created a website that has all the stats and history. Though our current season and membership is at its low point, whenever the league assembles for games it is fun. Want to see how good (or bad) I am doing? Check out this link.