Team Member: Mr. Zaman
Position: Physical Education Teacher
Where: Washington-Parks Academy
HR: What motivates or inspires you?
Z: I am motivated to helping students develop the knowledge, skills, and confidence to enjoy a lifetime of physical activity and mental well-being. As a youngster, PE was my favorite part of school. I want to continue the tradition of providing an outlet for fun, creativity, and self-expression for the future generation.
HR: What is your educational background and why did you decide to become an educator?
Z: I received my undergraduate degree in kinesiology from Wayne State University, and I’m currently a graduate student at Michigan State University studying leadership. GO GREEN! I originally planned on pursuing a career in an entirely different field, but I had a unique opportunity to work with children from Detroit during my time at Wayne State and absolutely loved it! When I broke the news to my family that I wanted to become a teacher, they weren’t very thrilled. I think that in my culture there is a societal pressure to push children into becoming doctors or engineers, while ignoring their own interests. I truly believed that I could make a bigger difference as a teacher and haven’t looked back since. Every day is an exciting day, and I love what I do!
HR: What do you enjoy doing when you’re not hard at work?
Z: It’s difficult to not always be working hard when you’re teaching and going to school at the same time, but during my pastime, I enjoy playing with animals and have a profound interest in personal finance. Right now, I’m reading through The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham. I highly recommend it for anyone looking to equip themselves with the understandings of fundamental analysis and value investing.
HR: What led you to teaching for Cornerstone Schools?
Z: Cornerstone took the chance on me when they hired me fresh out of undergrad with minimal teaching experience. That says a lot about the organization. They saw potential in a young man and were willing to help guide him under their wings while he continues to work on his craft. I am forever grateful to this organization and strive to meet the expectations of parents, district leaders, and shareholders.
HR: What do you enjoy most about your work at WPA?
Z: Definitely my colleagues and the students. Here at WPA, we’re all just a giant family. Everyone is supportive of one another, and when you have a school where the students and teachers are both collectively on the same mindset, it creates the most optimal environment for success.
HR: If there is a special quote, motto or mantra you live by, what is it?
Z: “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest/dividends.” – Benjamin Franklin