New computer science teacher enjoys his initial McCallum experience


New teacher Daniel Vega grades papers at his desk. Photo by Max Rhodes.

Max Rhodes

Although this is his first year teaching at McCallum,

New teacher Daniel Vega grades papers at his desk. Photo by Max Rhodes.

Daniel Vega is no stranger to AISD. After four years of teaching at the Alternative Learning Center for AISD and various schools around the

district during summer school, Vega now calls McCallum his work space.

Vega was born in Houston and went to San Marcos for school.  He’s lived in Austin since 2011, and has no intentions of leaving. All four of his years at AISD he has only taught math, but starting this year, he is also teaching computer science.

“The computer science class is going well,” Vega said. “Some of my students are smarter than me! It’s amazing. I really enjoy that, as a class, we’re all learning things together, and I’m learning more about my students and how to best reach them where they are… I think we’re going to have a really great year.”

In the beginning, however, math was not the subject for teaching he wanted to pursue.   

During my third year of college, I was unsure about my major,” Vega said. “And I had just taken a history course and thought, ‘Maybe I could teach history? I was a well-rounded nerd in school, and honestly liked all of my classes. I think I would be happy teaching history, math, science, or even English. I just really enjoy learning about anything, and figuring out how things work.”

In the end, there was more demand for a math teacher than history teacher. Vega says he enjoys teaching because he likes explaining things and helping students understand the subject better.

However, there is a downside to teaching for Vega.

“The most difficult thing about teaching for me is that you can only help the student as much as they are willing to let you, that you can only do so much,” Vega said.

When joining a new work environment, some may be nervous or worried, but Vega has jumped right into it. He plans to stay in education at McCallum for the rest of his career.

“I am loving my experience teaching at McCallum,” Vega said. “It has been a blast so far. It’s a lot of work of course, because I really want to do my best to serve my students, but it’s very rewarding to help students understand.”