Jay Davidson

a brief bio

I was born and raised in New York City, where I lived until the age of ten, at which point my family moved to the suburbs on the Isle of Long, first in Hicksville and then in West Hempstead.

After graduating from West Hempstead High School in 1965, I attended SUNY Oneonta for four transformative years, where I completed my bachelor’s degree in 1969.

Nine days after graduating from SUNY Oneonta, I moved to San Francisco, where I had already obtained a job as a teacher in public school.

My 34-year career in San Francisco began at the junior high school level, teaching English in grades 7, 8, and 9. In 1975, I transitioned to elementary schools, where I taught kindergarten, as well as grades 1, 2, 3, and 5, until my retirement in 2003. During my career, I enjoyed working with other adults as well as children. I was recognized by the school district as a mentor teacher, where I worked with new teachers in the school district, as well as a master teacher who worked with student teachers from San Francisco State University and the University of San Francisco.

During my final years of teaching, I focused my writing and public speaking towards parents, helping them to understand the importance of their roles in educating children: Parents are their children’s first, most important, and most consistent teachers.

In 1997, I wrote 99 Ways to Guide Your Child to Success in School, covering curriculum areas of reading, writing, listening skills,
math, science, social studies, and creative expression. It also includes information on cooperation with others, responsibility, exercise and motor skills, health and diet, safety, and parent involvement at school.

I wrote the “Teacher Talk” column for the Palo Alto Daily News on its family page from 1998 – 2002, as well as being included in parenting publications around the USA.

Teach Your Children Well: A Teacher’s Advice for Parents began as a collection of “Teacher Talk” columns, with more expanded information that was too long for the weekly column.

When I retired from teaching, I was able to fulfill my boyhood ambition by becoming a Peace Corps Volunteer, leaving home in San Francisco in 2003 to live and work in the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, West Africa. With the start of my Peace Corps experience, I began writing a weekly blog post that became the catalyst for starting this website.

I have been writing regularly since my Peace Corps days. Most of my blog posts detail my traveling experiences in many of the more than one hundred countries I have visited, as well as essays that I have been writing on medium.com since 2018.

In addition to being a teacher, I am a writer, public speaker, and artist whose activities are based in San Francisco as a member of the San Francisco Village, part of the nationwide village movement, with more than two hundred village communities around the United States. The village movement focuses on keeping seniors active in social networks while continuing to live and thrive in their own homes.

what I believe

I pledge allegiance to the unity of the world, and to the conviction for which it stands: one planet, under love, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

I believe that the good people of the world far outnumber the bad.

We do not hear as much about the good ones, though, because they work quietly without calling attention to themselves or their deeds. The bad ones are so disruptive that they can not help but notice them and their behavior.

It’s our job, if we want to make the world a better place, to keep our focus on the positive and deflect the negative, to the best of our ability.

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wisdom from people I admire

Present day photo of Jay Davidson
"If we cannot end our differences at least we can make the world safe for diversity."
John F Kennedy
"The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Common sense is as rare as genius."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
"The world is founded on thoughts and ideas, not on cotton or iron."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
"True peace is not merely the absence of tension: it is the presence of justice."
Dr. Martin Luther King
"Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity."
Horace Mann
"When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President. Now I’m beginning to believe it."
Clarence Darrow
"Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country."
John F Kennedy
"Lead me not into temptation. I can find the way myself."
Rita Mae Brown
"Prejudice is a burden which confuses the past, threatens the future, and renders the present inaccessible."
Maya Angelou
"A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is brave five minutes longer."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Anything too stupid to be said is sung."

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