Teacher of the Month: Mr. Stone

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Where did you grow up?

Right here in NY, Manhattan.

What inspired you to become a teacher?

I had a lot of good teachers who I admired as a student. I like talking about history, I like working with kids, I like working with other people. It’s a pretty good line of work to be in.

Where did you go to college? Major?

I went to Bowdoin College. I majored in history and concentrated in European History.

Where and what did you teach before you came to BSGE?

Well right before I came to BSGE I was in graduate school at Teacher’s College in Columbia. Before that I actually taught everything in an elementary school for a couple of years.

Why history?

I think it’s a fun subject to teach because there are always points of connection to people, so I always appreciate when people find things they can connect with in history or the past. I also think that it lets us explore who we are and compels us to think about challenging questions we need to ask ourselves as citizens or as members of society.

We saw that you were a student teacher for Mr. Lakhaney last year, what would you say is the most important thing that you learned from him?

Mr. Lakhaney has been a pretty good mentor to me. I think one thing that he’s very good at, and I try to be good at, is that he’s great at listening to students and really creating opportunities for kids to express themselves and share their ideas. He really wants kids to be comfortable with sharing their ideas in class and with each other, which is important to me so I learned a lot of strategies from him to do that.

What has been your experience of transitioning to an IB school?

So far it has been a pretty smooth transition, there’s definitely a really unique culture here. It’s not like other schools. One thing that’s unique for a teacher in this school is adjusting to the high expectations and the rigor here for the students. There’s definitely a lot of focus on academic rigor, which is a luxury.

IB or AP?

I took AP courses in high school, but I definitely prefer IB.

What do you think of BSGE and its students so far?

I really enjoy the school and its students, and it’s a very nice community here. It’s very close-knit and people know each other very well. One thing that I really appreciate is that students and teachers are really excited to be here, and are very happy to be in this school. Everyone seeks a real purpose in being here.

Pet peeves as a teacher?

When kids don’t put their names on stuff, I always get irritated with that.

All time favorite moment in history?

I like to talk and teach about the turn of the twentieth century, the late industrial period–particularly in American history. I think it was a super cool cultural moment.

Favorite food?

Pasta.

Favorite season/type of weather?

Fall.

What hobbies do you have?

Riding my bike, reading… that’s about all I have time for right now.

What were you like as a teenager?

Pretty studious, a little nerdy. I was really into art so I spent a lot of time working on that.

Favorite TV show?

Arrested Development.

What is your zodiac sign?

Scorpio.

Favorite color?

Orange.

First thing you do when you get home after a long day of teaching?

Probably feed my cat.

Aw, what’s its name?

Leon, like Leon Trotsky.

What’s your favorite animal?

Well, although I am a cat owner, I am a bit more of a dog person.

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