Matt Wyman worked in the
construction field for five years before
deciding to go back to school to become
a teacher. “I had always been passionate
about coaching and teaching. So with
the support of my wife, I made the leap
of faith,” says the seventh grade science
teacher. “I felt like I needed to make a
bigger difference in the world.” Now
in his second year at Shaker Middle
School, he may be new to teaching, but
he’s bringing a world of experience to
Other duties: Middle school football
coach and co-advisor for Model U.N. club.
Why middle school?
Middle schoolers are at the point in
their lives where they are figuring
themselves out and deciding on what
kind of learner they are going to be.
I have the opportunity to help them
grow and figure it out. Being around
kids who are smart, creative, and
driven makes me feel very hopeful for
the future. Our students are going to
change the world.
Your secret to
connecting with students?
You always have to be thinking like a
seventh-grader. When you’re planning
lessons and activities you have to ask
yourself, “Would my seventh-gradeself
find this interesting or boring?”
You have to trust the kid inside.
What are the biggest challenges they
face? And how can we support them?
Learning how to do things on their
own and manage themselves without
help from adults. We need to put
them in situations where they can be
independent and have success doing it.
Teaching as a Second Career
Photograph by Angelo Merendino
48 WINTER 2018 | WWW.SHAKER.LIFE