By Mhar Tenorio
The Mirror Staff
“I’ve always liked science, but I didn’t know I was ever going to become a science teacher.”
Passionate About Science and Up for a New Challenge
PHOTO BY SHIMLA RAHMAN MIRROR STAFF
NEWBIE: Mr. Becerra joins Special Education as a health and science teacher.
Having a passion for science since he was a kid, Mr. Danny Becerra is the newest addition to the Health and Special Ed Science Department.
After finishing his teaching credential through an intern program with LAUSD, he worked at Belvedere Elementary School for five years. He has a B.S. in Liberal Arts from California State University Los Angeles which he earned in 1998.
High school will be very different for him, he says, but he is up for the challenge.
“I’ve always liked science, but I didn’t know I was ever going to become a science teacher. I thought I was going to end up in a lab somewhere, either working for a pharmacy or doing research.” he said.
“I guess that’s what I thought I would do, but I ended up becoming a teacher. I think that’s great. It’s a better fit for me.”
Watching the students progress over the school year is one of Mr. Becerra’s favorite parts about his job.
“Teaching is exciting because everyday is different. It’s also fun. We can see grow as people and adults. Once students leave high school, I imagine them as young adults that have grown significantly since their time in kindergarden.”
On the first day of school, he assigns his students the task of making equity cards. Students answer three questions about their personal traits, which he then uses to gain an insight into who they are.
He expects to get to know his students individually as the year goes by, which helps him become more aware of their needs.
Although Mr. Becerra gives his students the opportunity to work on research projects, he still wants to incorporate more hands-on activities into the curriculum.
Thinking for themselves is the most important lesson a student can learn, according to Mr. Becerra, but it is also important to learn to make decisions and solve problems.
“You’re dealing with students that need a lot of structure in elementary school, but at this level , the students are very independent so they can do a lot of the work by themselves.” Many of his students have shown their leadership skills.
Other than the students themselves, the thing that has impressed him about Van Nuys High School is its size.
“I was adapted to working on small campuses, so the large size of the student population took a bit of adjustment, but other than that, it’s great.”
He also said that he has received a lot of support from the school and the staff during his adjustment period.