John Capone is a Lower School and After-school Assistant. He started working as a substitute teacher at CDS in 2015 and was also hired as the head coach of the CDS Middle School baseball team in 2017. He has also been involved for several years with CDS summer programs, including Camp Bell.
Mr. Capone was previously a certified teacher in grades 6-8 for Buncombe County Schools from 2001 to 2015, and taught Reading Remediation at Valley Springs MS and Social Studies and Language Arts at Cane Creek MS While teaching in the public school system in Buncombe County he helped design and train teachers in the implementation of statewide Social Studies Curriculum maps and information resource sites. He received a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Tufts University in 1970 and a JD Degree from Suffolk University Law School in 1973.
Get to know John Capone:
In what ways can you teach/engage children at CDS that you couldn't at other schools? “I have been given the opportunity to substitute teach at all grade levels at CDS including in the Key program. Through my various assignments as a substitute teacher, coach, and camp coordinator, I have taught or mentored nearly all the students with whom I will be working as a teacher assistant in the 3rd Grade. My training and personal experience in and out of the classroom has fueled my passion to teach younger students. I have achieved a deeper insight into the ways I can motivate these students to be creative, imaginative, and successful learners in this challenging 21st Century world we live in. Here at CDS, we stress the importance of providing our students the opportunity to engage in the achievement of their personal success in their academic future."
What do you like most about your job at CDS? “I am excited to be helping my 3rd grade colleagues implement a new curriculum format, 'The Culture of Learning,' which stresses the importance of allowing students to become imaginative and creative thinkers. My role as an Assistant Teacher will be to actively participate in the modeling and application of a unique set of learning skills that are essential to telling 'the story of learning' to our students. The CDS administrators give their teachers the freedom to improvise and experiment with various cutting edge ideas that help create a 'culture of learning' more suited to the expectations we have for our students as they grow to be 21st Century learners. Our students and other stakeholders are invested in a collaborative effort to give every student no matter what their background and skill set the opportunity express themselves and attain their personal goals in life both here at CDS and in the world outside our classrooms."
In your opinion, how does the CDS community inspire students to be courageous and curious, wonder about things that they don’t understand, try new things, and develop individual passions? "The reputation of CDS as an Educational Community has always impressed me. The feeling that the CDS 'family' looks out for all its members, both staff and students alike gives me a real sense of pride and security. I know that as a Teacher Assistant I will be encouraged to share my ideas, my hopes and dreams for our students and actively be empowered to offer ideas and experiences that have shaped me as an educator for the past two decades."
How would you describe your classroom? "The 3rd Grade classroom is set up with student-friendly written instructions and a set of daily activities that allow our students to become familiar with the routines designed to assist them in having a successful daily academic experience. Seating is arranged to promote student collaboration as well as an orderly and safe atmosphere that will aid in individual student participation."
Which classroom projects/events are you known for? "I am a Civil War reenactor with the 26th NC Regiment and have created and presented an educational program entitled 'The Life of a Civil War Soldier' which I have presented over the past 10 years here at CDS and at several other middle and elementary schools in Buncombe County."
What books and authors inspire you, your curriculum, and your classroom? "The recent introduction of Ron Ritchhart’s latest book Creating Cultures of Thinking has been the single most important addition to my must read list. The fact that CDS Lower School teachers and their assistants are training to apply the strategies set out by Mr. Richhart to the daily curriculum will, in my opinion, be the single most important modification for our teaching community."
What is your favorite quote about education, mentorship, children, and/or learning? "I have to say my favorite quote vis a vis educating our students would be from Diane Ravitch, published in the Back to School edition of the New York Times. Quoting from Ms. Ravitch’s 2009 book How to Remake Education, it states, 'The single biggest problem in education is that no one agrees on why we educate. Faced with this lack of consensus, policy makers define good education as higher test scores.'”