Steven Ushakov’s Geometry class started their year with an improv game. He had them stand in a circle with students taking turns inventing dance moves.
“I try to use my youth to my advantage,” Ushakov said. “Even though I’m already losing track of the cultural lingos and dance moves I was learning last week.”
After student teaching at U-32, Ushakov decided to apply for a full-time job.
Ushakov strives to teach students to learn in new and creative ways. “This idea of exploration before explanation,” he said. “That was sort of the initial motto that I latched on to.”
He wants his students to be naturally curious: “What do you see, notice, and wonder?”
He played hockey in high school as his primary sport. Now, Ushakov enjoys powerlifting. It pushes him out of his comfort zone. “[I]t’s important for [everyone] … to find something that excites them and scares them a little bit at the same time.”
His students are quite curious about his lifting, but he tries to not share too much about it. That becomes difficult when “most of the questions are ‘hey, how much weight can you lift?’” He said there’s a possibility that the question might be answered through one of his math problems throughout the year.
Ushakov remembers an answer from his interview with the school, which he still lives by: “I want to be the best version of myself each and every day.”