By Riley Kim (’24), Isaiah Steinberg (’23), Benjamin Falasco (’24), and Benjamin Velardi (’25)
Jamesville-DeWitt High School has a plethora of fantastic teachers. Each one unique in their style of teaching and the subject they teach – whether it be science, math, history, or a language. To get a better understanding of the diverse faculty of J-DHS, the RamPage interviewed history teacher, Jordan Berger.
Berger has been teaching at J-D for almost eight years, but this wasn’t the first school he worked at. When asked about his previous teaching experiences, he told us that this is the fourth school he has taught at. He started at West Genesee and then worked at Bishop Ludden as a special education teacher for a year. Then, he went to Fayetteville-Manlius and taught U.S. History for another year before moving to Dryden and teaching there for a year as well. After teaching at Dryden, he finally came to J-D, where he plans on staying.
Once he came to J-D, he became a history, psychology, and economics teacher. He went to college at SUNY Geneseo for History and Education, where he took many different history classes including Russian History and Native American History. However, when he was hired at J-D, he was asked to teach psychology, an area he was interested in, but didn’t focus on in college. Berger said about his rising interest and understanding in Psychology, “I’ve gotten into it more as I’ve taught it.”
“I like to set up class based around more of the conversation. I try to give [students] information, but not in an 82-minute block,” Berger says when asked about his teaching philosophy. Berger states that he doesn’t like to lecture for long periods of time. Instead, he enjoys teaching by introducing materials and concepts that he can connect with the students’ background knowledge to help them learn better. Berger states, “I like to do a combination of introducing material and concepts, but still connect it to students’ background knowledge to make it relevant to their lives. Even if it’s U.S. history, economics, or psychology – it’s all about being able to frame things so that students can connect them and understand them. Otherwise, if we’re not connecting things that we already know and are personal to us – what’s the point?” Berger also enjoys teaching through the use of group work, activities, and other things such as review games to help get students more involved in their learning. He says this is so that they feel connected to what they’re learning in some way.
“Beyond teaching here, I’m also working on the musical. I like delving into theater and the arts,” says Berger. As well as the musical, he also plays in a band, joined by band and orchestra teacher, Daniel Blumenthal. He spends a lot of his time during the winter working on the musical and his band. He also enjoys traveling and often plans many trips for him and his two year old son.
Whether you want to talk about history, psychology, economics, or even music, Berger is the teacher to talk to.