by Lydia S '15

Teacher of the Month: Ms. Clarkson-Farrell

photoOkay, so for starters, what is your first name, Ms. Clarkson Farrell?

 Alright, finally… Here it comes, dun dun dun! So many people have been asking me throughout the years, it’s Theresa. Theresa Clarkson Farrell, people call me Terry.

 Finally! We find out. So, what would you describe your position at BSGE?

 Oh my goodness, I wear many hats. I do the library, I am the librarian. I oversee the 10th grade personal project elective; sometimes I call myself the 10th grade personal project cheerleader. Urging you on, “Yes, you can do it!” Also, this term, I am covering the Human Rights class for Peter, this is the first time I’m doing that.

 So, you’re teaching the class?

 Well yes, I’m teaching the class, but following Peter’s curriculum to the best of my ability.

 Do you still substitute for the school?

 If Ms. Johnson needs me to act as a substitute for a class, then I am available. But right now I’m only working here; I’m not subbing for other schools, because I like it here!

 How did you get this position?

 The first time I ever substituted in this school was (oh my god) 10 years ago, my husband substituted here, came in for a day and the first thing that he said was “Oh my god we have to get our daughter into this school!” That’s how Fiona ended up here, and then a few days later, the art teacher Tony, he was going out because his wife was going to have a baby and they needed someone for two weeks and my license was in Art, that’s my basic teaching license, so I came in and was the Art teacher for two weeks and it has been BSGE ever since.

 How old was your daughter at the time?

 Oh, she was in 6th grade. We found out when the tests were, she took them, and then we forced her to come!

 So, what else did you do before coming to BSGE?

 Before BGSE? I was subbing in the system for Pre-K through 12th grade. I’ve done Pre-K science, dance, art, English and Mathematics, covered a Nuclear Physics class… Mostly in Queens. Prior to that I was working at home, had kids, school, doing the whole “Mom” thing.

What is it like working at a school where your daughter went?

 Well, actually I had done that with Fiona in Elementary school because I had taught at her school.  She didn’t seem to mind it. Personally, I’m fine with it, didn’t bother me in the least.

 Was it weird seeing her friends everywhere?

 Ehh, no, because it kind of gave me insight for everything, I sort of get an inside perspective. “What did you do at school today?”But aha! Now I actually kind of know what kind of stuff you’re doing.  Who are you hanging out with? Oh yes, I DO know who you’re hanging out with! And she insists to this day that it has never bothered her.

 What’s your favorite part of teaching at BSGE?

 I know this is going to sound very cliché, but I have to say, the students. You guys really are, overall, even the most annoying of you, are interesting, fun, and engaged.

 You’re interesting as people and generally speaking, most of you are motivated to learn something and I have never had an experience here that someone’s behavior was so horrible that it was borderline criminal. Unfortunately I can’t say this about some of the other schools I’ve taught at….

 I’m not saying the people aren’t annoying, I’m not saying people don’t make poor choices periodically, but you guys are a nice bunch of interesting, motivated and fun young people.

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