BY SARA ZAKARIA & RYAN HAMES
Thomas Snarsky is a new official teacher at Malden High. He teaches mathematics to various grades, the majority freshman. Snarsky previously student taught here at MHS, and also spent sometime in Somerville, Brown University, Providence, and Rhode Island.
Snarsky is from Braintree, and attended Braintree High School. He recalls his experiences in high school, saying that he ‘wasn’t very social’ and played one sport, which was golf. He remembers how he liked how he went from not knowing many people and feeling uncomfortable, especially during freshman year, to eventually getting to know a lot of people, and having a sense of what the school was, and feeling like he belonged there. Snarsky went on to be enrolled in Tufts University, earning his undergrad and master's degrees.
The reason Snarsky became a teacher was due to his teachers during his high school years. He credited them for making him want to go to college and to study and teach math in particular. Snarsky also chose to teach mathematics because of a quote he was inspired by, which was “the essence of mathematics lies in its freedom.” He explained that math, to him, is the only place that you can make stuff up and follow the logical conclusion of what you made up, and create something beautiful. The people who inspire Snarsky to keep going everyday, are his coworkers and his students. He stated that students and teachers have different energies, so he loves how he not only gets to talk to teachers who have a lot of experience teaching and being at Malden High, but also work with students who are new to this school, and “have a brand new energy.”
When asked what grades he preferred to teach, he said he loves teaching freshmen in particular, and since it’s their first year in high school, he loves to welcome them into the school and the community, like everyone else has done to him when he first came.
Snarsky’s opinions on Malden High remain positive, as he said that he loved the school, and Mr. Brown, the former principal of Malden High, really helped him feel comfortable and at home last year. He’s most excited for getting to know his students and finding out what their strengths and interests are, and learning about the community at large.
He spent some time teaching kids at Providence, which he talked about. He talked about how it was just one class, filled with students in different grades. He said the experience “was interesting, because we had to make it work with for students who are in very different places, and some were thinking ‘Wow, I have to go to college next year’ or a month and a half and some were just starting high school.” Snarsky also spent time teaching a program called Breakthrough Collaborative, taking place during the summer and at a middle school in Dorchester, that had mostly seventh graders, “the youngest group of students I’ve ever taught.” Snarsky spoke about his time there, saying it was really cool, and how the energy was different in middle school students. He spoke about how they did a retreat in a campground during the program, and how it was really fun and they built a strong sense of community during it, which he hopes he can bring to this school and his students.
Snarsky was also the winner of Poetry Out Loud teacher competition last year. His mentor encouraged him to try it and compete, and he said how he was planning to competing again this year.
Snarsky remembers a time when a mentor teacher told him once to “keep calm and love in your heart,” which relates to being a good teacher. His opinion of a good teacher is a person who can retain a feeling of calm and purposefulness, and also enjoy the content, caring about their students and their success, and showing that.