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Flushing, New York

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Trying to make the classroom a fun and informative environment

WJPS' Global 1, Honors World History, and US History teacher, Mr. Thompson teaches his favorite subject while trying to make the classroom an enjoyable learning environment for his students. Picture by Yea Lee.
WJPS’ Global 1, Honors World History, and US History teacher, Mr. Thompson teaches his favorite subject while trying to make the classroom an enjoyable learning environment for his students. Picture by Yea Lee.

by Yealin Lee, staff reporter

Mr. Thompson Global 1, Honors World History, and US History teacher

  1. What inspired you to become a teacher?

I always knew I wanted to do something that was not only interesting, but also rewarding. I wanted a career where I felt I was actually making a difference, and that’s what inspired me to be a teacher.

  1. Why did you choose to teach this subject?

I chose to teach history because it was my favorite subject when I was in school.

  1. What teacher(if any) impacted your life when you were in school?

I can’t really think of a single teacher who impacted me. It was more of a collection of many teachers. I have a lot of memories where teachers had an effect on me; both positively and negatively. And I think the collection of those experiences is what made me who I am today.

  1. What sacrifices have you made since becoming a teacher?

I think the biggest sacrifice every teacher makes is time! Unless you are a teacher, you can’t understand how much time goes into making a lesson, grading work, and trying to come up with new, interesting things to do in class everyday. Being a teacher is a lot of fun and it is extremely rewarding; especially when you hear from students that you are doing a good job and that they enjoy your class. But it is a 24/7 experience; there really isn’t a time where I am not thinking about school and how to make my class more interesting for my students.

  1. How many years have you been a teacher? What was the name of the last school you taught at? What subjects and grade did you teach there?

This is my 3rd year teaching. The last school I taught at was TASS Middle School in Manhattan. I taught 6th grade social studies and 6,7,8th grade drama.

  1. Has being a teacher changed who you are? For better or worse?

Teaching has definitely changed me for the better. It’s great to see the world through the eyes of a different generation, and to hear student’s views and listen to their opinions about the world today.

  1. What do you believe the ups and downs of being a teacher are?

Teaching has a lot of ups and downs; you have days when everything you planned goes right, and then there are those days when it seems everything goes wrong. The up days are when you plan a great lesson; it goes off without a hitch and the students feel it was both interesting and informative (they learned something). The down days are when you take the time to plan an activity; something that you think is going to be a huge hit and it flops. The last thing you want to see, as a teacher, is classroom time being wasted.

8.Have your students impacted you as a teacher?

The biggest impact on a teacher is their students. Everyday I show up to school I’m thinking about how I can make this day productive and fun for my students. When I am successful, it makes my day better but when I am unsuccessful, it makes me want to work that much harder for the next day. Students are the real measuring stick for a teacher. It’s not about what the principal thinks or what other teachers think; what impacts a teacher most is what their students think and how successful they are.

  1. Do you have any secret talents?

I don’t know if they are secrets, but my talents would be I’m very good athlete, I play guitar and I’m pretty funny; when I want to be.

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