By Anna Wu ’16
After 47 years of teaching, Mr. Jeffery Schneider puts a cap on his legacy while spending the last few months of his career at Midwood.
“Teaching is an astounding feeling,” Mr. Schneider said. “It makes me feel like I’m producing something wonderful and it’s exciting day after day.”
Due to the fact that both his parents were teachers, Schneider swore that he would never follow in their footsteps. Despite his initial reluctance, he began teaching biology to junior high school students. Now, he can’t imagine himself doing anything else.
Schneider has been teaching US History at Midwood for nearly 20 years. He has thousands of memories and has had thousands of students. Though he doesn’t remember the names of all his students, he wished he could.
“I love my kids,” said Mr. Schneider. “I never thought I would say that when I first started teaching but I do. It’s really a wonderful thing.”
Vivian Ng ’16, a student of Schneider’s US History class, described her teacher as energetic and eccentric.
“He teaches lessons in a very interesting way and he tries to get his students to think outside of the box,” Ng said. “I looked forward to going to class.”
In 2001, Schneider was diagnosed with cancer. His life turned into never-ending hospital visits and when things seemed most grim, his students reminded him of what was truly important. He later recovered and resumed teaching at once.
“I walked into the classroom when I came back and there were all these smiling faces,” he recalled. “I forgot all my problems.”
With his retirement, Schneider plans on completing his thesis for graduate school and finally get his PhD. He also plans on traveling within New York and to other areas of the world. He promises to never forget the experiences and knowledge he gained while teaching.
Kelly Yuen ’16 recalled sitting in Mr. Schneider’s class and being absorbed in the discussion. She said the discussions were interesting and they taught her how to think for herself instead of just copying notes off a board.
“That’s the best part of teaching,” Schneider said with a smile. “When you learn how to communicate with your kids and they’re communicating with you, nothing can compare to that feeling.”