Neil McCarthy • History • Mundelein High School | Teen Ink

Neil McCarthy • History • Mundelein High School MAG

September 21, 2018
By Anonymous

I’d heard stories about this legendary figure, famous for jumping and shouting in excitement to keep students engaged. My sister was the one who shared these anecdotes, and now it was my turn; I had the honor of taking his World Studies class my freshmen year. This teacher’s name is Mr. McCarthy.

He is no ordinary teacher. He is loud, energetic, and a little bit crazy. He has short, spiked hair and a scruffy beard to match. His eyes are two different colors – one blue and one brown – and they sparkle when he smiles and laughs. The first day of our French Revolution unit, Mr. McCarthy was nowhere in sight when we all sat down. It was dead silent. Suddenly, he kicked open the door wearing a torn up plastic crown, waving a Nerf sword, and crying out with a ridiculous French accent. We were all so stunned that we couldn’t say a word for several seconds … then, we all burst into laughter, knowing that we were in for a treat.

Mr. McCarthy taught us that history connects everything, and that what we learn from the past can influence the future. He once said, “I don’t want you to be like, ‘Hello Denis, there is lovely filth over here.’” (A Monty Python reference he uses constantly). His standards were high, and he expected everyone to fulfill each and every one. He required us to be on time and ready to learn the very second the bell rang. For the whole year, we were only allowed to re-do one assignment. Homework had to be turned in the day it was due, no matter what. Knowledge is power and he gave us those tools for us to become leaders.

He was my biggest defender for learning and making me a better person. He was there during my ADHD meeting and asked questions to make sure he was able to give me the best possible learning experience I could get. He even asked whether his classroom was too distracting because it was filled with decorations from all around the world. While previous teachers had driven me away, Mr. McCarthy accepted me and reignited my passion for learning. His high-energy teaching has stuck with me and has inspired me to want to become a history teacher in my future.

The author's comments:

My History teacher was extremely influential to me in so many ways. My 8th grade teacher made me hate school and this teacher brought back this excitement of learning for me. His high energy teaching stuck with me and inspired me to become a history teacher for my future career. How he teaches history makes actually think about trends and patterns of history are connected to modern day.

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This article has 1 comment.

amclaughlin said...
on Dec. 17 2019 at 8:53 am
amclaughlin, Chicago, Illinois
0 articles 0 photos 2 comments
Love the allusion to Ponty Python!