Q&A | Dan Wasserman: Learning Lab Teacher

“I believe social interaction enriches the learning experience for all involved.”

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CREDIT: ANGELA PROCA | THE MIRROR

MUCH MORE THAN A TEACHER! Mr. Dan Wasserman sees himself as a mentor who advises and supports students by fostering a welcoming and inclusive learning environment.

What subject/subjects do you currently teach? I currently teach students in the Learning Lab. We focus on teaching and reinforcing the skills students require to be successful with their academics, with a focus in math and English.

Who or what initially inspired you to pursue a career in education? My high school coaches hired me to work in their summer youth sports camp when I was a high school senior and that experience of positively impacting the lives of young people inspired me to want to pursue a career in education where I could strive to help others on a daily basis.

What are five words that describe you? Talkative, enthusiastic, persistent, friendly and adventurous.

What are your interests and hobbies outside of the classroom? I enjoy outdoor activities, such as mountain & road biking, train running and snowboarding. I also enjoy cooking and photography; however, I am still a beginner with my camera.

In your experience, what has been the most rewarding aspect of your profession? Without a doubt playing a small part in helping to instill in my students a confidence and belief in themselves and their abilities to be successful students – as well as kind, thoughtful and responsible citizens – and then being able to observe or hear about my students applying this knowledge to help improve their academic and personal lives.

In your experience, what has been the most challenging aspect of your profession? Successfully getting all your work complete in time to have enough free time to focus on your own interests and hobbies; having a good work-life balance.

What is your teaching philosophy? First and foremost, I believe in creating a welcoming and inclusive learning environment where all students feel welcome and know that their voices are heard, respected and valued within the class community. I believe that students learn best through active and engaging exploration of ideas and concepts and then collaboratively sharing, discussing and debating the many diverse perspectives, viewpoints and ideas of their peers. I believe social interaction enriches the learning experience for all involved. I view my role as a guide and mentor advising and supporting my students through the learning process and providing opportunities for creativity and critical thought.

What are some overarching lessons you aspire for students to learn from your class? An overarching lesson that I would aspire for students to learn from my class is the recognition that education can be utilized as a tool for personal growth and self-empowerment, which in my opinion helps people better understand themselves and the factors that motivate and inspire them in their lives while also helping to develop the confidence and drive to pursue their goals and aspirations in life, and ultimately reach their full potential.