Director of Student Life and Learning
What skills will our children need in the next century? What knowledge do we wish to pass down to them? We have enlisted Dan Weiser to help bring practical life skills and sciences to the next level at Middle Way. He’ll be finding the intersections between our academic and dharma curriculum and what we are calling the living sciences: repair, primitive technology, carpentry, first aid, earth sciences and more.
I have been an educator for as long as I can remember. Tutoring friends in high school, being a teacher’s assistant in college, enrichment programs upon graduation. But it took until my early 20’s to find direction in terms of what I wanted to focus on. I realized that as a youth I never learned about where food comes from, or that people walk through the woods for pleasure, or how the mountains and oceans formed. As I connected more with nature I knew the most important thing I could be doing with my time is sharing my passion with young people so they would understand and appreciate the natural world from a young age.
After earning my masters degree in environmental studies from Antioch University New England I joined the founding staff of New Roots Charter School in Ithaca. I have the opportunity to play a role in designing a school from the ground up, considering all aspects of what a school looks like and why. The famous gorges became my classroom where I challenged students to “read” the landscape and connect with the local ecology.
I am joining the Middle Way School most recently from Woodstock Day School where I taught middle and upper school science as well as played the role of middle school coordinator. During my time there we “carved out a middle school identity” where we rebuilt major systems around curriculum, assessment, and instruction.
Throughout my career I worked at a variety of small schools that were all grounded in developing meaningful relationships. Each young person is built with a unique nervous system, set of experiences, and habits. Knowing who these kids are is essential to engaging and challenging them. I am confident that the Middle Way is poised to support students in these ways and beyond by helping establish positive habits that will promote a sense of personal well being. I am so excited to join a community grounded in Buddhist values that align with my lifestyle. I believe it is not only a great way to engage young people in essential inner work, but I also see it as a great opportunity for me to learn and advance my own personal journey. I look forward to the work of embedding nature studies and practical skills into the DNA of the Middle Way.
In my free time I can be found adventuring with my family. Hiking, biking, climbing, swimming, skating, and building unique things