December 30, 2018

The business of teaching

Nina Robins ‘19
After a long career in political lobbying, banking and advertising for nonprofits, Jason Langer has returned to his New Jersey stomping grounds to pursue a very different type of business – teaching English at Golda Och Academy.
“In the business world, I learned so much of speaking and listening and when I got into teaching I realized that people think English class is only about reading and writing,” Langer said. “I’ve always said that it’s about reading, writing and listening and that informs the way I teach.”
Langer’s writing career began with the Manalapan High School newspaper and his interest in Language Arts with a love of Shakespeare. These English skills aided him with a postgraduate job of editing for political angled, lobbying firms in Washington D.C. and later with compiling presentations for Dreyfuss Bank on Wall Street. Later, with the onset of websites, Langer began designing and drafting home pages in an effort to modernize companies.
“That was a tremendous experience, speechwriting at such a young age,” Langer said.
After working in the corporate world, Langer “felt like [he] was helping the rich get richer” and “wanted to do some good for society.” He co-founded a low-cost advertising agency and eventually transitioned entirely into freelance and short term assignments.
“Over the years, it was a tremendous career and I am very proud of it,” Langer said.
Upon moving back to New Jersey, Langer pursued his long held interest in education and was directed to GOA by a friend.
Since watching GOA’s promotional video on the school website, Langer has been impressed by the community he has located here.
“I really appreciate the emphasis on the community and the ‘we’re all in this together’ attitude,” he said. “Though it’s a very different community from where I’ve been before, it’s still a unique community with its own vibe and its own heartbeat.”
Although no longer interacting with business executives and editors, Langer finds his students to be intellectually stimulating in their own rights. He enjoys presenting to the class and listening to his students present their ideas just as he so enjoyed  performing corporate presentations.
Pushing similarities aside, Langer appreciates the refreshing contrast between company employment and school employment.
“Technical writing, which is like business writing, [sic] I’m alone, I’m sitting and writing it… it’s the speaker talking to his or her audience,” he said. “Writing for a class, I can feel each and every one of the students in a speech.

“In a lesson plan, I feel it’s a group of us learning together.”

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