Meet Daniel Marin, first-year teacher and graduate of Rice’s teacher certification program

Daniel Marin is about to complete his first year of teaching middle school math at YES Prep White Oak. He is a recent graduate of Rice University, where he majored in Statistics and earned his teacher certification. We interviewed him about his experiences as a first-year teacher with a background in education.

Daniel Marin, YES Prep

Why did you join YES Prep?

I chose YES Prep because of the support structures it offered and the populations it targeted. I knew I wanted to work in an area that was underserved and at a school that had a strong vision. At the same time, I wanted to be developed and challenged. Because I’d already gone through the certification process, I already had some experience and knowledge, but I wanted support when I got into practice. Another reason I chose YES was the collaboration. It was a team effort day in and day out. I care so much about the teaching profession, and I wanted to surround myself with like-minded individuals.

Why did you decide to become a teacher?

As a statistics major, there were a lot of different things I could do, but I wanted to teach because I had the chance to make a significant impact. Every day is different and presents a new challenge, and at YES, you’re provided with a structure and support to address those challenges.

How did our first-year teacher training program, Teaching Excellence, complement your experience earning your teacher certification at Rice?

It was a chance for me to move from the hypothetical to the practical. I was able to say, “Here is what my classroom might look like at a YES campus.” Or “Here is what my support structure can do for me.” I had the vocabulary and theories of teaching down, but the Teaching Excellence program gave me a chance to dive into the practice.

What is your advice for education majors who are about to become first-year teachers?

Don’t be afraid to think about every detail. Think about how you want to interact with coworkers. Think about how you want to greet your students. Think about what sort of support you want from your principal.  And about what kind of coworker you want to be, what your classroom persona will be, and about your priorities. All of this thinking and planning will set you up for success.

My YES Prep is collaborating with other teachers– both on campus and across the system

My future is leading math teachers to develop and experiment with new teaching strategies


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