Each month we share the stories of dynamic educators who are using MasteryConnect in innovative ways to help students be their best! Follow along with our Featured Teacher series and get to know other teachers in the MC community.

Meet James Mazzarano, math teacher at Fordham High School for the Arts in New York City. Mr. Mazzarano has been teaching grades 9-12 for four years. A college swimmer and diver, read on to see how he channels his inner Yoda to stay excited about teaching.


Which subjects have you taught?
Algebra I, Honors Algebra II, Algebra II, Honors Geometry, Math and Financial Applications

Tell us one of your goals for this year.
Provide a more student-centered classroom where all students feel safe to participate and collaborate together.

What keeps you excited about teaching?
Seeing students succeed in content and life skills I have taught them.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
Teaching is not a field you should enter if you are looking for a 100 on every task you are expected to complete. Teaching is about efficiency and willingness to learn and grow.

If you could choose a “walk-on song” to be played every morning, what would it be?
“Monument” – A Day to Remember

What is your favorite book on education?
Front of the Class by Brad Cohen

What advice would you give a first-year teacher?
Ask questions. If you do not know how to do something, always ask. It is better to ask for help than to “suffer in silence.” Each school has a community of teachers to help and support you.

If you weren’t a teacher, what kind of career would you have?
I would be a structural engineer building homes.

What has been the most memorable moment in your teaching career so far?
A student and their classmates told me that I am one of the most consistent figures in their lives, and they use what I have taught them every day.

What is your favorite quote?
“Failure, the greatest teacher is.” -Master Yoda

What is your favorite MC Feature?
Data reports by standard.

What is one thing you want students to take away when they leave your classroom at the end of the year?
I want students to learn that you can use math in a variety of ways. They may not take away every concept or topic I cover, but they will take away something.

What is your dream vacation?
Sitting on a beach somewhere tropical listening to the sound of the crashing waves.

What else would you like to share?
I have been a swimmer and a diver most of my life. I swam and dove varsity in middle school and high school, year-round on a USA Swimming team, and swam and dove in college.

Check back often to meet other amazing educators in the MasteryConnect community!

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