Faculty Feature: Mr. Friedland

By Student Reporter Nikki M.

I was given the opportunity to interview Mr. Friedland. He is a math teacher at Sage and also runs the sports club. Mr. Friedland also teaches Cinema class and Career & College Process class.

NM: How long have you been teaching at Sage?
RF: This is my 9th year.

NM: Did you teach anywhere else prior to Sage? If yes, how does Sage compare?
RF: Yes, I taught in an Urban school in Boston. There were about 30 kids in a class and there were behavioral problems.

NM: Did you always want to be a teacher? If not, when did you decide?
RF: No, I wanted to be a Major League Baseball player. I decided not to be one when I realized I wasn’t that good. I have a family of teachers including my mom and uncles.

NM: Did you grow up in new Jersey?
RF: I was born in this area. I have left and come back a few times.

NM: What is your favorite part about working at such a small school?
RF: There is a lot of personal student attention, specialized learning, help is more effective and we get to know the students.

NM: If you had one tip to give someone who wants to be a teacher or who is beginning to teach, what would it be?
RF: Establish yourself professionally right from the start, maintain appropriate boundaries, be yourself, and have fun.

NM: How did you decide to teach math as opposed to another subject?
RF: I always liked math; I was strong at it, but I would also like to teach other subjects like social studies and humanities at some point.

NM: What do you like to do in your spare time?
RF: Teachers don’t have lives; when they leave school they disappear.

NM: What Sage Day tradition is your favorite? Why? (Thanksgiving, holiday breakfast, Arts Festivals etc.)
RF: I like all of them, but I miss the sports ones like the Thanksgiving football game and the soccer game. It would be nice to have them back.

NM: What electives have you ran/helped run in the past. What has been your favorite?
RF: I have run a lot such as, cinema, band, foods, chess and all the sports/gym and SDF electives. My favorite was foods.”

NM: How did you choose to go to the University of Connecticut? Was it your favorite from the first time you saw it?
RF: I didn’t really know. I had narrowed it down but wasn’t diehard to go to UConn. It was a really hard choice but a good choice. Go Huskies!

NM: What do you do to make your classes interesting and keep the students from being bored?
RF: Students have told me that I let them have fun but I’m strict enough and work gets done. I think that keeping math open ended and open for discussion is important. I am a big fan of answering questions with questions with the goal of increasing a student’s self-accountability.

NM: If you weren’t a teacher, what would your second profession choice be?
RF: A sushi chef, blackjack dealer, sports writer, food critic, movie critic or a private caterer. I have done some of these in the past.

NM: Growing up, what was your favorite subject in school?
RF: I liked all of them. I like diversifying. Social studies was probably my favorite. Mr. Kaplan was the best.

NM: When can I win Sudoku? Should I start trying soon? Because it needs to happen eventually…..
RF: Uhm, I’m a big believer if a student works hard they will eventually surpass the teacher and they usually do.