David Cooley’s love affair with the Spanish language began in the predominantly Latino neighborhoods of central, west coast Florida where he first grew up. Later this passion would take root and blossom, working as a professional chef in the restaurant industry. As he has continued to transition out of the kitchen, his focus has shifted towards work that is more focused on teaching Spanish, community outreach, and social justice. This shift in focus was inspired by the many years spent working side by side with his Spanish speaking coworkers, witnessing firsthand the racism and inequality that they unjustly endured because of their minority status. As he has come to understand that the unjust social dynamics that exist in the world of professional kitchens are a reflection of larger social patterns, he continues to be motivated to promote cultural bridge building through the medium of teaching language.
David brings an approach to teaching Spanish that is aimed at fostering the development of students’ personal values and sense of purpose in the world. Through a unique, interactive approach—infused with humor and enthusiasm—he presents information within the context of conversation, which greatly enhances the student’s ability to learn and retain material learned in class. He seeks to inspire students to become emotionally invested in the process of learning Spanish by challenging them to examine and articulate their beliefs and values through the medium of the language. If you have ever been frustrated in the past with Spanish classes that have left you feeling unable to use what you’ve learned, or have been overwhelmed by the mechanical memorization of lists of phrases without proper context or application, then you owe it to yourself to give one of his classes a try!