Dan Cutler: Everyone is Willing to Take the Extra Yard to Help Students
Monterey Adult School
A veteran teacher for 27 years, Monterey Adult School Teacher Dan Cutler has been a member of the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District family since 1993.
Dan began his career teaching in 1985 following graduation in elementary education. He began at the elementary level for five years before moving onto middle school. It wasn’t until working with adults did he truly find his calling. He found himself flying to Japan to teach a year of English as a Second Language (ESL) and stayed for four years because he enjoyed it so much. “It was great because students wanted to be there,” says Dan.
Upon returning to the states, Dan was offered a position at Monterey Adult School and has been teaching at MAS ever since. He feels a sense of great accomplishment when students graduate. “When you see a 38-year old student with three children of their own graduating with a high school diploma, you have to appreciate that,” he says.
Dan and his colleagues go the mile and “inch” he says to support students. For example, if a student works Monday through Friday, a teacher will meet the student on Saturday. “We do whatever it takes to help the student succeed. That is huge,” states Dan. For example, in our high school diploma class, all our teachers teachers go the extra mile and have a 'what can I do to help attitude' that is truly admirable. MAS staff focuses on what they can do to ensure students graduate and succeed in their education and career goals.
One of the things that Dan loves about Monterey Adult School is his peers. “I love my colleagues,” says Dan. “Everyone is willing to take the extra yard to help students. There is a real camaraderie amongst the teachers. We can go ask anyone for help and they will say sure.”
The Monterey Adult School offers a real benefit to the community. It offers unique courses, including ESL or Civics Education, where students learn different life skills such as making a doctor’s appointment, what questions to ask at a doctor’s appointment, Internet skills (how to write an email), or even taking field trips that are relevant to life skills.
“Our job is to open up students’ eyes to the community resources available to them,” says Dan. “To give them ideas about jobs on the Peninsula and to create pathways or avenues to help them.”