First year back in a new role

Teacher feature – Mr. David Magallon


Mr. Magallon saw a way to change the world and became a teacher.

Q: How long have you been teaching Armijo? What do you teach? Where else have you taught?

Mr. Magallon: This is my first year teaching at Armijo, but as you’ll find out later, I actually attended Armijo for the entirety of my high school career! I’ve previously taught middle school at Will C. Wood Middle School in Sacramanto–yes, there’s ANOTHER Will C. Wood somewhere else in the world.

Q: Besides teaching what have you done for work?

Mr. Magallon: I used to work at Petco by our local In N Out! I worked there for about nine years until the pandemic hit. I was the aquatics and reptiles specialist. If you’ve ever come to the local Petco before the pandemic, you’ve probably seen me goofing off in some capacity or I helped you buy your first scaled friend! I’ve also worked as substitute teacher for our local school district, and I’ve proctored the SATs with some of our fellow staffers here at Armijo.

Q: Why did you become a teacher?

Mr. Magallon: I originally joked as a student that I’d wind up here and end up being a teacher in the long run, but the truth is is that I’ve had lots of great teachers who’ve impacted the way I’ve come to view the world over the years. Mrs. Lyerla and Mrs. Edmonds, who no longer teach here, fostered a real interest in learning about the way the world works and how literature impacts our daily lives–it’s led me to write whole theses about videogames or science fiction/cyberpunk media in college and, in turn, I’d like to impart that same feeling of wonder and excitement about the world to others. So, I’m here, back at my old high school trying to get folks excited about learning.

Q: How did COVID-19 affect your teaching experience?

Mr. Magallon: COVID-19 really threw me for a loop. I had already planned to enter Sac State’s Teaching Credential/Master’s program before anyone predicted the pandemic; I was approved and registered for the whole thing. Sac State decided to continue their program with virtual/distance learning and, well, while it wasn’t the optimal experience, I enjoyed it a lot! I taught middle school and learned quite a bit about engaging students online. I’ve picked up on having a soundboard when students blurt out profound or quirky answers, and I even started a Dungeons & Dragons Club for the school I taught at. This should give you some insight into what sort of teacher I aim to be for my students.

Q: Where did you attend school – high school, college, etc.?

Mr. Magallon: I attended high school here! At Armijo! I was part of the Multimedia Academy when it was run by my friend’s dad, Mr. Summers. Now it’s run by Mr. Gonzalez! I also enrolled in Virtual Academy when it was run by Mr. G. and, wouldn’t you know, it’s changed hands to Mrs. G? Not related, of course. I graduated Armijo in 2011. As for college. I attended Solano Community College while working through my general education and received guaranteed transfer to Sac State where I graduated with English honors in 2019!

Q: What are your hobbies? What else do you do for fun?

Mr. Magallon: I am, unfortunately, assigned a gamer at birth. I enjoy everything from the classics to new school stuff! I cut my teeth on Super Street Fighter 2 on my brother’s and my Sega Genesis, but now I like to relax by playing a few rounds of Apex with friends after work. I’m a Valkyrie main, yes I’m upset about the nerfs, no I will not cope. Besides gaming, I enjoy a whole host of tabletop RPGs (TTRPGS for short). I played D&D through all of high school, and play a lot of Pathfinder now. I hope to get a TTRPG club up and running here on campus in the coming years, though I need to, you know, get a grip on the whole teaching thing. I also enjoy aquascaping (it’s a fancy method of keeping plants and fish in a tank, both live). It’s really soothing, and I’d like to get a fish tank set up in my room sometime.

Q: What advice would you give to students considering going into teaching?

Mr. Magallon: Do it! It’s great. Seeing people succeed is one of the best feelings in the world. That, and you really get to feel like a member of the community. I’ve lived here my entire life, so seeing the educational landscape change over the years and being able to be part of it is such a thrilling feeling. The changes you make, big or small, are felt through the entirety of the town. Even as a substitute I’ve really enjoyed being in the classroom environment. But it is work, and it’s quite a bit. Don’t feel discouraged, they’ll throw a lot at you but, but the load gets a bit lighter every year.

Q: If you could change one thing about Armijo (students, facilities, staff, etc.), what would it be and why?

Mr. Magallon: Honestly? Not much. Maybe updated facilities, or getting the food truck that used to stay outside the old office again, but Armjio hasn’t changed much in the ten years I’ve been away. It feels like home, even through the negative and positive experiences I’ve had here.

Q: Tell me about your family.

Mr. Magallon: I’m the youngest of three; my brother and sister are eight and seven years older respectively. My sister works for the city of Fairfield in the Housing Department, so she’s also making a big difference in how people survive within the city of Fairfield. My brother lives in Reno, Nevada. He’s moving back, switching gears from being a supervisor at a factory that produced batteries for Tesla Motors and settling back in Fairfield to be close with us again. My mom works down the street at Fairfield Police Department; she’s actually been there for about thirty years. I used to walk down the street and sit in her office after school since the PD is just a block or two away. My dad is actually from Mexico. He immigrated several times before getting his citizenship in… I think 2001? He’s from Michoacán, so that makes me some weird 1.5 generational hybrid. Either way I’m the first teacher in the family!

Q: Anything else you would like to say?

Mr. Magallon: School is, understandably, scary! But, your teachers genuinely care for you. We want you to succeed, but school isn’t the end-all that you may think it to be. Just try your best, ask for help when you need it, and help will be there! But remember, you’re so much more than your experiences in school, so try to breathe a little easier while you’re here. In other words: Take it easy, but take it.