When it comes to difference makers in the classroom, the New York State Master Teachers are some of the best of the best in STEM education. In being a part of this community, master teachers can take their dedication to developing expertise in the areas of content, teaching practice, and students’ families and communities and share it with like-minded education professionals.
There are nearly one thousand master teachers in New York, but who are they exactly? We’ve been reaching out to some of these educators to bring you their stories. We are thrilled to learn more about them, and share their stories with you. So let’s start with a master teacher from Rockland County, NY.
Brian Perry is a middle school technology teacher in Nanuet, NY. But in addition to teaching, he enjoys his role as a Helicopter Tour and Charter Pilot in New York City. He received his bachelor’s degree in Technology Education from SUNY Oswego in 2004, and received a teaching position directly out of college.
With these two career paths intersecting, we asked Brian how he ever found his way to SUNY. He tells us “A high school teacher gave me a recommendation I attend SUNY Oswego to pursue teaching. Oswego gave me all the skills I would need to begin a career in teaching. I worked very hard, and with some luck networking, I was able to move into my main career directly out of college. With the success of my first job I was able to pursue my dream of flying and have been doing both ever since.”
While in school, Brian was very passionate about his metal working class. He was given the opportunity to manipulate metal into different forms, as well as learn the science behind why different materials reacted the way that they did. Engaging in such interactive coursework, helped fuel his passion and realize his goal of teaching others the subjects that peaked their interest. This passion for teaching is also driving him towards taking more of a leadership role in his district, in an effort to create goals for teachers and students that will evolve their offerings. As he is seeing more availability to equipment such as 3D printers, LASER cutters, and CNC, due to costs going down, he is excited to start implementing these pieces of technology in the classroom.
For those who hope to become teachers in the future, Brian’s advice for current students is relatively simple. “Get into classrooms as much as possible to really find where you belong, and develop a relationship with mentors so they can help you make decisions with long term goals in mind.” He believes every person should play to their strengths, and put themselves in a position that helps make their goals attainable. When it comes to funding your dreams, Brian says to, “take a class on grant writing. Start writing grants right away. There is lots of money out there for you!”
Brian is one example of many New York State Master Teachers who exhibit pride and passion for their work. As we await the next class of Master Teachers to be announced, we will be showcasing more of their stories moving forward.