Social Studies Dept. Welcomes New Teachers

By Haseeb Khan ’19 and Esrat F. Islam ’19

Among the many new teachers who have started teaching at Midwood this year, there are four new social studies teachers: Mr. William Naess, teaching U.S history; Ms. Daisy Davydov, teaching world history; Mr. Michael S. Cohen, teaching A.P. world history and U.S. history; and Tommy Martone, teaching world history.

Mr. Naess said, “The students are great. [The] school is well run, organized, and compared to other schools, the students’ attendance is on point.”

When he teaches, he tries to be energetic and funny. During his lessons, he sometimes sings educational songs as a way to get his students interested in learning. It helps them remember the lesson better. For example, one song that he performed in class was The Battle of New Orleans by Jimmy Driftwood.

“A lot of work goes into every lesson,” Mr. Naess said.

He wants to make sure that each of his students is interested in what they’re learning and spends effort into planning and preparing his lessons.

Some students comment on how comprehensible Mr. Naess’s lessons are.

Qilian Yu ’19 said, “His classes are laid-back but his method of teaching is comprehensible and easy.”

According to Mr. Naess, he had a bad experience with a squirrel during class.

“I tried to take a class to the computer lab on my birthday, but my class was disrupted by a squirrel,” he said. “That is one of the worst experiences I had at Midwood so far.”

In some students’ minds this encounter with a squirrel would actually be a laughing matter, but Mr. Naess saw this as a worst experience because it disrupted the class while he was teaching.

On the other hand, Ms. Davydov was a substitute teacher before coming to Midwood and is looking forward to the experience. She enjoys seeing what students with different backgrounds have to offer in class.

Ms. Davydov said, “[I enjoy] teach[ing] a diverse student body with so many skills and different ideas as well as being multicultural.”

She believes it’s important for her students to learn about social studies because it “provides students with the ability to analyze and examine not just the past, but also how their present and future is impacted.” She wants her students to learn about history so they are able to understand why people make decisions the way they do based off what occurred in the past.

Transferring from Bayside High School to Midwood High School, Mr. Cohen is looking forward to teaching his first year here.

“I like interacting with kids; I love when kids have ideas, political ideas and ideas about government,” Mr. Cohen said.

He loves it when his students come up and share their perspective about government and politics. He finds teaching students to be very fulfilling because he finds joy whenever his students are interested in what he’s teaching.

Mr. Cohen believes that the elation of teaching would be when students come back and say you have impacted my future for the better because it reminds him as to why teaching students is important.

Mr. Martone is eager and looks forward to continue teaching at Midwood High School. According to him, Midwood has many more students than his other school, but at the same time “They come ready to learn,” Mr. Martone said.

He said, “Teaching can be the most fulfilling career you could ask for,” because it allows you to connect to so many students and also just the fact that you’re teaching what you love and getting paid for it.

He  finds it important to study history because it helps us  “understand the reason as to why we are the way we are today,” Mr. Martone said. He believes that students should know how the actions that were taken in the past have affected the way we live today.

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