A View from the Mountaintop
"I have lots of blessings, the first of which is my family". These are the first words you hear when you begin David Herr's class in behavior management. Dave is first and foremost a family man. He will tell you that he was born to be a daddy. The father of three children, Dave is always involved in things that his family is doing. Dave believes that each day should be started off in a positive manner. Therefore, he wakes up his wife Sherry, his daughter Katie, and even the family dog Rex with a backrub.
Dave can probably tell you every basketball statistic and record Katie has ever set. He will beam as he tells you about his son Sam, a special education teacher at Thomas Harrison Middle School, and he can't say enough about his son Ron, who is a sophomore here at JMU. He'll even joke that he'll give extra credit to any girl who'll date his son. And he'll get teary eyed as he tells you he was the first person in the world besides the doctor to hold each of his children.
"I have many blessings, one of which is that I am able to teach at JMU." This is a phrase that you will hear numerous times from Dave Herr. And he means it wholeheartedly. You see Dave didn't set out to come to Virginia and teach at JMU. As a boy from a small town in Ohio, Dave's goal was to become as he puts it "the winningest football coach ever." However, plans change. On a trip down to the University of Virginia to interview for a graduate school position, Dave stopped in Harrisonburg, Virginia for a bathroom break. Then he stopped on top of Afton Mountain, overlooking the Shenandoah Valley. Dave will tell you that that day, he discovered where God lived. Another stop in Harrisonburg, and Dave made his decision: UVA it was. And lo and behold, several years later, he ended up with a professor's position here at JMU. He never forgot his "bathroom breaks."
Dave loves JMU. And it shows in his actions. Most everyday, Dave arrives at JMU 1-2 hours early to walk around the campus. A rare occasion is it that you see Dave and he is not smiling, ready to offer a friendly greeting to anyone who walks by, whether he knows you or not. He will be the first one to know athletic scores of his student athletes, and will be the first to email you if you've missed more than one class. He cares so much.
"I have many blessings, one of which is that I am able to teach behavior management". Dave Herr is the behavior management man. When it comes to handling discipline problems in the classroom or in life in general, he is your man. He believes in the saying: Bad Kids Need More; need more love, need more positiveness, need more attention. And you would be amazed as to how much behavior improves when you put this principle in action. You see Dave doesn't just talk about bad kids. He was a bad kid. He'll readily tell you that he was kicked out of school for punching a teacher. Then you stop to think where he is now. It gives you faith in the "bad kids."
Dave Herr's class is one of the most popular on campus. Walk into his class on any day, and you'll find students of any major, minor, and academic area. His class is among the highest rated on campus. Most of this is because he makes you feel so incredibly welcome. He loves every student. He is one of the most enthusiastic professors at JMU, and its infectious. Although his class is more than an hour a day, three times a week, students miss the class once it is finished. He is a spot of positive energy in an otherwise negative world.
He not only teaches you how to do things, he lives by what he says. His actions speak louder than words, and this is emphasized by a poem he makes each of his students memorize.
I'd Rather See A Sermon
I'd rather see a sermon than hear one any day.
I'd rather one should walk with me than merely show the way.
The eye's a better pupil and more willing than the ear,
Fine council is confusing but examples always clear.
And the best of all the preachers are the men who live their creeds,
For to see the good in action is what everybody needs.
I can soon learn how to do it if you'll let me see it done,
I can watch your hands in action but your tongue too fast may run.
And the lectures you deliver may be very wise and true;
But I'd rather get my lesson by observing what you do.
For I may misunderstand you and the high advice you give.
But there's no misunderstanding how you act and how you live.
People who know Dave Herr, know he acts his sermons. They know that he shows the way. JMU has many blessings. One of them is Dave Herr.