New Teacher Spotlight: Michael Long
This school year, Conant has nine new teachers. Seeing as most students won’t be introduced to them in the typical way, the Crier is providing short features on each. Today, the Crier would like to introduce Michael Long from the English department.
Crier: Do you have any hobbies or anything that you’re passionate about?
Long: I really love riding my bike and listening to music, which usually goes hand in hand. I grew up doing theatre, so even though I don’t do theatre myself anymore, I love to see it and I love to help with theatre at different schools. I paint a lot, but not very well. Also, I like to write. I write poetry and short stories, and I’m trying to write longer works. It’s mostly just for myself though.
Crier: How long have you been doing theatre?
Long: I started in elementary school, so a couple of decades. I’m a big Dr. Seuss fan so I love the play that’s called “Seussical the Musical”.
Crier: Why did you become an English teacher?
Long: I had a really great English teacher my freshman year who showed me that school is actually fun sometimes, and that it’s exciting to make school fun for other people. Also, I love reading and I love writing, but mostly, that teacher really showed me that school is all about the kids.
Crier: What is one thing that you keep in mind when teaching students?
Long: I keep in mind that there are 100 other places that you’d rather be. So I want to make my classroom maybe like one of the top 10 places you might want to be.
Crier: What moments make you happy when teaching students?
Long: I like when they say something funny even if it’s not intentional. I also like when they have a little spark of interest in the material, they finally get something, they love the chapter last night, or they’re really excited about the assignments. Just showing that they have some kind of interest makes me happy.
Crier: Why should students take English?
Long: English is the world around you. It’s not just the English language, but it’s just language in general. When you’re applying for a job. you need to craft an email. When you are just looking around, you see a billboard. And when you’re arguing with your partner, you want to convince them. Those are all the skills that we build in English. Talking to other people and talking in front of them. Without English, I think it’s hard to do anything else in the world.
Crier: If you weren’t a teacher, what would you be?
Long: If I was more science brained, I’d be an architect, but there’s not much science going on.
Crier: What is something that you’ve regretted through your high school experience? Do you have any advice for students?
Long: I definitely enjoyed high school, but I think I was sometimes a little bit too intense about my homework and the stress that comes with that. I think I would’ve had an even better time if I had just turned the notches down a little bit. So I would say just relax a little bit. Take a deep breath here and there. Getting a B, C, or D is not the end of the world. You can just lay low for a couple of days sometimes.
Crier: Do you have any message for students?
Long: We all need to take breaks, but make sure that your breaks are truly breaks. Don’t go on TikTok. Only do that whenever at night. Do something that makes you think and makes you happy.