Oral Exam

Our top teachers answer our questions.



Teacher : Dan Delaney
School: Croton Harmon High

WM: Any pranks a student played that made you laugh out loud?
DD: One time I asked a student to help with distributing wrapping paper for an elementary school. He said he would love to but was unable to because of his allergy to wrapping paper. I bought the story until I realized after it was a joke. I had a good laugh, but rest assured that kid did community service.

WM:
If not a teacher, you’d be…
DD: A writer and researcher on Jeopardy.

WM:
What’s the one subject that’s not taught in school but should be?
DD: An entire course on financial planning, student loans, credit, and accounting.

Teacher: Tom Mormile
School: Sleepy Hollow High

WM: Summer vacation – For work or for play?
TM: I like to spend time with my family biking and swimming.

WM:
What's the biggest negative being a teacher?
TM: Working with students, building relationships, solidifying a team, just in time for them to move on and you have to start over with a new group.

WM:
Do you like tattoos and piercings?
TM: No. I am old school about those decisions. I see it as a fad, but will stay with a person forever.

Teacher: Andrew Scott
School: Pelham High

WM: Do you like tattoos and piercings?
AS: No, I don’t like them. Tattoo parlors should be required to show prospective clients a picture of a tattooed 80 year-old.

WM:
What’s the biggest negative being a teacher?
AS: The opinion that anyone could do the job as well or better. People always say if I were teaching I would… They think it is easier than it is. They don’t say to a plumber, I would use this wrench, or fix the pipes this way.

WM:
Do you see any differences between students today versus ten or twenty years ago?
AS: Students today are less likely to read now, even if it is just a short passage. We’re turning into a much more visual society. Students react better with things like podcasts.

Teacher: Anne Harrison
School: Ossining High

WM: Any pranks that made you laugh out loud?
AH: When I caught a student imitating me, I had to laugh out loud

WM:
If not a teacher, you’d be a…
AH: It’s a toss up between a supermodel or an editor for the New York Times.

WM:
Do you like tattoos and piercings?
AH: Yes, my dad has an anchor; he was in World War II. Piercings are also fine. What’s in your brain is more important than what’s on your body.

WM:
What’s the one subject that’s not taught in school but should be?
AH: A class on humor or comedy should be taught.

Teacher: Elizabeth Napp
School: White Plains High

WM: If not a teacher, you’d be a..
EN: I’d be a juggler and high-wire artist. I would still read, but at a high altitude.

WM: What’s the one subject that is not taught in school but should be?
EN: Typing. A fast typist will always have an advantage.

WM: What’s the best policy for handling classroom discipline?
EN: Treat students respectfully and respect generally follows.

Name: Susan Erichsen
School: Walter Panas High

WM: What's the biggest negative being a teacher?
SE: The hours. The amount of time it takes to make sure that your lessons are engaging.. A good teacher constantly assesses, evaluates and changes to make things better. That takes time.

WM: What’s the best policy for handling classroom discipline?
SE: Be honest. Being an English teacher I’ll quote Hamlet. “To thine own self be true”. Students appreciate that honesty. Kids can sniff out a liar from a mile away.

WM: What’s the one subject that’s not taught in school but should be?
SE: There should be a class on preparation for life after high school. The class would cover how to manage your credit cards, how to balance a checkbook, and how to travel the world outside your immediate boundaries.

Teacher: Clarice K.W. Morris
School: Charles E. Gorton High, Yonkers

WM: They say teachers have great hours? Agree?
CM: If you think working 7 am to 7 pm is great than sure. But I wouldn’t do it any other way.

WM: Do you like tattoos and piercings?
CM: If you have them and you work in health care you have to have them covered. Someday these people are going to be old and they won’t be as flattering when they got them when they were younger. I also am concerned with Hepatitis C. If they are not done under the proper conditions, we can see an outbreak of Hepatitis C in twenty years or so. It takes that long sometimes to see the symptoms.

WM: What did you get on your SATs.
CM: I think I got a 1410, but that was a long time ago.

Teacher: Ross Abrams
School: Hastings High

WM: Summer vacation—for work or for play?
RA: Ah, summer vacation – A time for running around after my two-year-old daughter and reading, reading, reading.

WM: What did you get on your SAT?
RA: Okay, take the year William Shakespeare was born, divide it by the number of allusions to fire in William Blake’s poetry, and then subtract the number of best sellers written by Louise Erdrich. It’s somewhere around there.

WM: What’s the best policy for handling classroom discipline?
RA: I have us read Lord of the Flies and we go from there.

Teacher: Brenda O’Shea
School: Somers High

WM: What’s the one subject that’s not taught in school but should be?
BO: I think students should have more foreign language options, like Mandarin Chinese, Arabic, and American Sign Language.

WM:
If not a teacher, you’d be a ...
BO: Politician. I'd like to say that I would be president, but my Irish birth precludes me from the position!

WM:
What's the biggest negative being a teacher?
BO: I love to teach and I love to travel, but as my time off coincides with when many others are off, I always travel at peak times and it is harder to get a bargain!

Teacher: Nancy Lee
School: Briarcliff High

WM: Summer vacation—for work or for play?
NL: I’ve worked or taken classes every summer since becoming a teacher. One of the most meaningful summer experiences I had was a two-year research fellowship with Columbia University as part of their Summer Research Program for Secondary Science Teachers, where I had the unique opportunity to conduct my own research under the supervision of a Columbia professor. By experiencing science first-hand in such an authentic way, I’m better able to communicate the excitement of science to my own students.

WM:
What’s the one subject that’s not taught in school but should be?
NL: Something interesting I observed while visiting secondary schools in Singapore a few summers ago was a Character Education class.

WM:
What’s the best policy for handling classroom discipline?
NL: I can’t give away my secrets, since many of my students might be reading this.