Meet the Teacher: Dan Shuster

Welcome to Meet the Teacher – CodeMonkey’s blog segment where teachers from all over the world share their experiences on what it’s like being an educator. Today’s post features Dan Shuster who is a 9-12th Math and Computer Science Teacher at Royal High School in Simi Valley, CA.

“I originally planned to use my math skills to be an accountant. One semester into college, I realized that my love of math would best be suited to teaching and I was inspired to do so by my high school calculus teacher. He really enjoyed what he did and I wanted to be like him. I like sharing my knowledge and passion for learning with others.

I would consider myself a connected teacher in many ways. I use an online learning management system as well as my own website to keep students connected to my class. I am not big on social media, but I do use Twitter and have found it to be a wonderful resource for finding and sharing teaching ideas. The digital world has dramatically changed the way I teach for the better.

Working with children reminds me that the world is a fascinating place with new things to learn every day. Being a teacher has made me a lifelong learner and I am always eager to explore new topics and ideas, especially when they arise from my students. Over the past few years, I have had the opportunity to work with a diverse collection of students from Grades 4 through 12. Being around children all day also keeps me young at heart!

It’s important to me that my students leave my class with an enthusiasm and appreciation for what I have taught them and a willingness to learn more the next year and beyond.

Always choose a technological tool that allows you and your students to learn more powerfully and/or efficiently. Don’t just use technology for technology’s sake. If a technology gets in the way of the learning, then it shouldn’t be used. It’s all about learning!

Since technology changes at a rapid pace, it is important for teachers to embrace change and be willing to adapt their teaching style when new tools become available. We expect that trait in our students, we should expect it of ourselves. Also, computers are tools meant to enhance our problem-solving and creativity. Many students see them as entertainment devices. I consider it my job as a teacher to change that mindset.