Growth. Balance. Inclusion.
These are what you can expect.
GROWTH. Each person will walk in at a different point and that is also how everyone will leave. Uniting everyone is that they have grown and learned. Growth mindset is a key component to the experience. The material will be hard and rigorous. It might take time to understand. Individuals with a growth mindset tend to embrace challenges, persist in the face of setbacks, see effort as essential to mastery, learn from critical feedback, and find lessons in the success of others because they believe that talent, intelligence, and ability can be developed through effort.
BALANCE. To grapple with concepts presented, it is important to devote the necessary time and thought outside and inside of class. Class should NOT be an all-consuming aspect of one's life. A healthy balance of work and care for self is important. Students that are healthy--physically and emotionally--can achieve their highest potential. Valuing wellbeing is part of meeting the standard of excellence expected. Moreover, balance extends to how each person engages in class. One must constantly go among being a student, teacher, listener, and talker.
INCLUSION. In order to achieve the above, it must be done with people that are willing to be part of a group and people that feel that they are part of it, not just by label but by culture. All voices must feel welcome to participate. This will take work and time, but it is the destination we are set on. There is much to gain and learn from each other: those that know and those that have no idea what is going on. Being able to see the perspective of others is an important life skill used in working with people, conflict resolution, and chemistry class to name a few.
Bryan J. Dunn Upper School Chemistry Faculty
Prior to arriving to University School in 2020, Dunn was a Upper School Science Faculty member at St. Andrew's Episcopal School in Austin, Texas. While teaching full-time, he also assumed a variety of other roles, including part-time College Counselor, Interim Director of Sustainability and Director of Science Research. He has held other faculty positions at the Latin School of Chicago and The Woodhall School in Connecticut, where he also served as Dean of Students. At US, he teaches Chemistry and AP Chemistry and assists with science research. He has a B.S. in Chemistry from Loyola University Chicago.
Mr. Bryan J. Dunn
US Upper School Science, Chemistry
Appointments/ Office Hours (Students)
To schedule an appointment: https://chemdunn.youcanbook.me/
Availability/ Office Hours
Face-to-face communication is the preferred method of contact. Emails are responded to within 24 hours of receiving them Monday to Friday (8am-4pm), when school is in session.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, meetings will also be available online.
See availability above. There are no real "emergencies" in this class. Your house on fire is an emergency. If you don't understand #32 for the quiz tomorrow - that is NOT an emergency. If there has been a big explosion and your electricity went out so you can't do your homework - that is not an emergency. (The explosion is an emergency.) "I don't understand anything" is a true emergency and a mental health or medical professional should be sought with your parent's knowledge. Please practice time management and accountability to reduce the sense of "emergencies."
Parents, my goal is to have students be owners of their success. In order for students to authentically develop a compass of internal motivation--autonomy and set backs are essential. I welcome you to check in and touch base with me as you feel the need. Communication from me might not be "proactive" but "educational" in scope.
Teaching & Learning Philosophy
Below are some core tenets and perspectives I bring to the classroom. These are just a sample but some that I find are the most important. I hope the information below highlights some beliefs I hold as a teacher.
- The purpose of the class is for you to learn, not for me to grade you. I’m a teacher not a grader but I do both.
- I am aware that this class is NOT the most important or the only class you take or school is the only thing you do. I keep this in mind when developing expectations and assignments.
- I want to make the class purposeful even if you do not study or do anything directly related to science/ chemistry again in your life.
- I do NOT want to talk how to improve your grade but your UNDERSTANDING of the material.
- Do not ask about extra credit.
- Do not ask me to change your grade (i.e., bump you from a B+ to A-). If you want me to have the freedom to change your grade in whatever way I feel and not based on YOUR work, please let me know -- it is much easier for me to make up grades to begin with.
- My goal is that you will earn an A+ … but if (when) you get that grade, you will earn every point.
- You should not dread coming to class. If you do, there is a problem.
- Expectations are high but doable because that is what you can handle and deserve.
You can be the smartest student or star performer or greatest athlete but if you are not a person who cares for others and makes the effort to make others feel welcome and included then I have not done my job.