Mr. Jahn is the Mahn of the year

Science teacher receives recognition for outstanding teaching.

Priya Kukreja, In-Depth Editor

For the average high school student, the difference between looking forward to a class and dreading a class can come down to one thing: the teacher.

Chemistry teacher Daryl Jahn was recognized by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with the outstanding teacher award for 2015. He was chosen on the basis of his exemplary skill, knowledge, dedication, and ability to inspire students.

“This is the first year that the UNL chemistry department decided to create this award. I was very humbled to find out that a former student of mine had nominated my name, and even more so when I found out they chose me,” Jahn said.

Once nominations had been submitted, potential recipients were asked to submit information about their involvement in chemistry, along with a description of their teaching style and philosophy.

“The way Mr. Jahn teaches is one-of-a-kind. He’s usually pretty loud, always energetic, and humors every class. It’s really easy to stay engaged,” sophomore Maddie Martin-Olenski said.

Jahn noted that a lot of other people made it possible for him to get the award, especicially his students. That’s why his approach to teaching is centered around his relationship with serving his students.

“I stand at my door and greet students every day. I think that’s important. It makes a difference when students know they’re welcome and it’s really a nice way to start of class,” Jahn said.

Another distinctive aspect of Jahn’s educational approach is his technological involvement with students and commitment to their understanding. Over the course of 6 years, Jahn has compiled a library of easily-accessible videos on YouTube that guides viewers through the AP Chemistry Curriculum. His cleverly named channel is known as ‘Jahn’s Hop-Chems Videos’.

“The Jahn Hop-Chems videos are really entertaining, but also incredibly educational. They thoroughly cover everything you need to know for the lesson while also making learning fun,” senior Mahati Gollapudi said.

Jahn doesn’t introduce students to definitions or lessons in class. Instead, he encourages students to watch his lecture videos while he answers questions and explains conceptual ideas in person.

“A couple years ago, I found I was having a hard time getting through the curriculum I wanted to teach. I felt like I was brushing the surface and wasn’t getting students all the information possible. This approach allows be to go deeper into things in class and explain underlying concepts of the material,” Jahn said.

This method of teaching has seen tremendous success in Jahn’s classes. It allows students to learn the material at their own pace while still staying engaged in school.

“I’ve had a lot of positive feedback, not only from students but from parents. I’ve had parents at conferences tell me that they listen to them with their students. I expected parents to say ‘oh! You’re the guy from the video’, but I never expected that they sit down and watch my videos with their kid,” Jahn said.

Jahn’s innovative involvement and dedication to student’s learning is precisely what made him the ideal recipient for the outstanding teacher award.

“Sometimes we tease Mr. Jahn about literally being the best chemistry teacher in the state of Nebraska. His exciting teaching just makes me want to learn more about chemistry,” junior James Dick said.