Why I Teach: ‘Unselfish love and care’ inspired him

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David Moody, criminal justice technology instructor at Wilson Community College, is featured in this week’s Why I Teach.

Total years teaching: 15

First teaching position: Greene Central High School

Colleges attended: Fayetteville State University, bachelor’s, 1986

East Carolina University: Master’s, 2004

Capella University: Doctorate, 2016

Favorite quote: “It takes a whole village to raise a child.”

Other interesting facts: first-generation college graduate; first African-American N.C. state trooper assigned to Greene County (1989); 2017-2018 WCC teacher of the year; 25 years as a sworn law enforcement officer (Fayetteville police officer, state trooper and Pitt County deputy sheriff)

Why I teach: I teach because of two very special people in my life. I am endeared to them because of the unselfish love and care they showered on me, the way they counseled and disciplined me when I needed it. They are both deceased now, but my thoughts and actions today are still measured by the kind of attention they gave me as a young black male growing up in rural eastern North Carolina.

My mother, Remeal Davis Moody, was a unique individual. I thank God every day for his decision to make her my mother. As was often the case, she served two roles, as mother and father to four small children who ranged in age from 1 to 4. My mother was a praying mother who made the necessary sacrifices to make sure that her children were raised with the utmost respect for themselves and their elders. She truly believed in the old African proverb: “It takes a whole village to raise a child,” and paraphrasing from the Book of Proverbs, “If you spare the rod you spoil the child.” We truly did not grow up as spoiled children. My mother is resting peacefully in heaven today. I will always cherish her memory and thank her for going the extra mile to ensure that her children were spared the shame and embarrassment that is often associated with poverty.

Teacher Donnie Earl Peedin was a person who influenced my life at a very early age. I grew up on a farm. Farm labor was not easy. I was fortunate to have Mr. Peedin as a mentor during those formative years. A more accurate characterization of him was that he was a father figure to me at such a critical time in my life. He encouraged me to “do the right thing” when there were so many other voices and influences suggesting that I follow the easy path. He walked me through high school with his words and his support. He helped me find a way to go to college. After getting in college, it was his words, his support, and his faith in me that enabled me to hang on when I was often tempted to quit college and go back home.

I will always cherish his memory because of how he “stood tall, but stooped to help a boy.” He was a kind and caring individual and certainly my “ram in the bush.”