New full-time teacher in math resource center

Learning Lab provides students with alternate learning opportunity


Grace Farley

Dan Walker assists Junior Oliver Swenson with his math work.

Alexis Machoka

When the math resource center’s new teacher Dan Walker first learned about a job opening at Park, he said it seemed like an excellent opportunity.

“I was substitute teaching and heard of this job opening and thought it sounded like a great job,” Walker said. “So far that has been true.”
Walker said he recently pursued a teaching license.

“I’m a newly licensed math teacher — it was a career change for me. I went back to school and earned a math teachers license,” Walker said.
According to Walker, his role predominantly consists of being a resource for students whenever they need help during the school day.

“I’m full-time school hours in the math resource center. My job is just to be available to help students with their math work,” said Walker.
Junior Violet Huber said having another outlet to go to when in need of math help is not only beneficial to students, but teachers as well.

“I think that having another resource is really nice because sometimes our math teachers are really busy, and you don’t always have enough time to learn all of the material,” Huber said.

According to Walker, there are also volunteers in the resource center to help students.

“There are some volunteers here as well Tuesdays and Thursdays at this point to work with students,” said Walker.

Walker said his job in the resource center is important because he can help bridge gaps in a student’s understanding of math.

“Math can be hard, and it’s hard to understand all of math. There’s holes, there’s gaps in understanding. Even for good students, there’s certain areas that don’t quite make sense,” Walker said.

Junior Zachary Blankenberg said with Walker in the resource center, he feels more inclined to get help if he needs it.

“I met Mr. Walker, and he’s super nice, and he seems helpful,” Blankenberg said. “He seems very open to helping all different types of people, so if I ever get stuck on something, I’ll go,” Blankenberg said.

Walker said his goal for students is to provide them with the tools they need to succeed in math.

“I want everybody who walks through the door to get the help that they need, the help that they are looking for,” Walker said.

According to Huber, having another teacher will lessen the likelihood of students falling behind in their class.

“It’s nice to have somebody else who can help you understand what’s going on in your class, so you don’t get behind,” Huber said.

According to Walker, he loves the resource center because he gets to utilize all he knows about math, not just a specific topic or subject.

“I like the variety of math. I think what we do in the resource center, it isn’t one type of math, it’s whatever the students are studying here at the highschool that can be a number of different things,” Walker said.

Blankenberg said he thinks students should seek help in the math resource center because it provides an alternative way of teaching.

“Sometimes if your regular teacher isn’t as clear or you don’t understand, learning from a different perspective will help you, and you’ll grasp that topic better,” Blankenberg said.

Walker said his favorite thing about the resource center is encouraging students that their math isn’t always as hard as they think.

“I think if people walk in and they are solidly convinced that they don’t get it and after I work with them for awhile and they sort of go ‘wow, that’s not hard’ — the light comes on, and that’s very satisfying,” Walker said. “That’s my favorite part.”

The math resource room is located in room A202B.