Daniel Elkin

daniel Elkin bitney prepDaniel Elkin
English Teacher, Class of 2020 Advisor
Classes:
English 11, English 12, Film Studies, Comic Book Studies
Education: BA Skidmore College in English Literature, Sacramento State Teaching Credentials

When I turned 30 and my son was just born, I realized that I should probably do something with my life that I could easily explain at parties, something that my son might possibly admire. I thought back to the people that have had profound impacts on my life and one was my high school English teacher. So I thought to myself, “I’ll be a teacher”. So I went to teacher school and did that. For a while I was teaching in a traditional high school setting and was becoming disillusioned by that experience. I knew Bitney’s director at the time and saw that he was hiring and I decided to try it out.

I think the Big Picture Model really focuses on relationships and building community. In the end, those are the things that are most important in life. Big Picture gives us the opportunity to explore ourselves as well, and the internships are amazing. When students grab ahold of something that they are interested in doing, they can do incredible things with these internships. I love driving around on Wednesdays seeing students just having an amazing time.

One thing I particularly love about teaching at Bitney is that I’m constantly learning from both the students and my fellow teachers. I think It’s really great to grow as a person and learning is one of the ways you do that. There’s also the safety of it. People can fly their freak flags as high as they want and still be loved and accepted. I think that when people come here that are having a hard time fitting into the community, they can be embraced very quickly if they allow themselves to be and that’s pretty incredible. I don’t think any other school does that at all.

Another thing I really love about Bitney is the freedom I have as an educator. I feel that I am treated with respect by the administration and given carte blanche so that I can experiment and pull anything I want into the classroom without oversight. That’s pretty wonderful.