During National Teacher Appreciation Week this week, AAPS District News will profile four teachers who are completing their first year at Ann Arbor Public Schools.
Pathways to Success math teacher Ryan Hansen was raised in Roseville, Michigan in Macomb County. He graduated from Roseville High School in 1996, the third in his graduating class. Hansen then attended Eastern Michigan University, graduating magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics for secondary education. Hansen enjoyed his student teaching semester at Huron High School, cementing his desire to live and teach in Ann Arbor. However, an available teaching position opened in Roseville, sending Hansen back to teach at his old alma mater, Roseville Junior High School.
Teaching at RJHS provided Hansen the opportunity to practice the art of teaching while building rapport with students. In 2008, he was named Roseville’s Outstanding Teacher of the Year. Also during this time, he earned his master’s degree in educational studies from Oakland University. After six successful years teaching grades 7-9, Hansen transferred to Roseville High school and spent another six years there. After 12 years of teaching, Hansen’s goal of working for Ann Arbor Public Schools came to fruition, and he secured a mathematics position at Pathways to Success Academic Campus.
Hansen owns a home on Ann Arbor’s northwest side, and enjoys designing and selling stereo systems, going to jazz concerts, and watching college football and martial arts.
Why did you want to work for AAPS? In 2001, I completed my student teaching at Huron High School. I had a fantastic experience and wanted to formally join the staff at that time – alas, no math teaching positions were available. My employment this year with AAPS has fulfilled my 15-year quest to work in the district. As an Ann Arbor resident, I love the community, culture, and educational opportunities that this extraordinary city provides.
Where else have you taught and what makes AAPS unique? I have spent the previous twelve years of my career in Roseville Community Schools, teaching mathematics at the middle and high school levels. Ann Arbor Public Schools is unique in the amount and variety of phenomenal opportunities students are afforded. For example, students have the luxury of attending three world-class comprehensive high schools and two innovative alternative schools; each offering many elective and extra-curricular choices that most schools simply cannot offer.
What has surprised you about this year of teaching? When I was hired to teach at Pathways to Success, I did not anticipate such a close-knit, family atmosphere. The smaller environment has allowed me to really get to know the students I teach in my classroom, as well as most others in the building. The parent breakfasts, Thanksgiving dinner, and weekly Connectivity sessions go a long way to build goodwill between students, staff, and families. Also, I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of laptop computers and iPads available for student use. It’s nice for all students to have access to technology within the classroom.
When did you realize it was going to be a good year? I immediately felt welcomed by my colleagues at Pathways to Success. After about a month or so, I started to realize students were responding well to my teaching and personality. At this point, I knew I had made a good decision to teach at Pathways.
What if anything will you do differently next year? My goal for next year is to once again enjoy working with my students. I’d like to be able to know the name and a little about every single student enrolled in the building!
_Jo Mathis, AAPS District News Editor