MƒA MASTER TEACHER
Bronx High School of Science
# of years teaching
Having taught for decades and feeling as if he was coming toward a lull in his career, Neil Farley contracted a virus – a good kind of virus as he puts it. As an MƒA Master Teacher, Neil was bit by the MƒA bug. “It’s infectious to be around other teachers who love what they’re doing and who are excited about the profession; that feeling really spreads throughout the teacher community. It’s amazing how MƒA teachers take this feeling, their work, their experiences, and bring it back into their schools and communities.” Neil says he’s noticed the impact on school culture from MƒA: “MƒA gives teachers an infusion of inspiration and passion and renewed interest in their content. It’s hard not to see how that positively changes a school’s culture, a teacher’s excitement, or an individual’s professionalism.”
Neil believes in a variety of teaching philosophies, but his goals stem from a recurring “unfortunate” experience he has with others who find out what he does for a living. “Often times when I meet people and I tell them I’m a physics teacher, they invariably give me a groan or hang their head in shame as they remember their own experiences with the subject. My goal is to try not to have any of my students grow up and feel the same way. I hope 20 years from now they’ll be able to say they had this great, crazy teacher who made them enjoy learning and made physics really interesting.”
Neil earned a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Drexel University, an M.S. in Civil Engineering from The University of Massachusetts - Amherst, and an M.A. in Secondary Education from Teachers College at Columbia University. Neil enjoys collaborating with other teachers during a variety of MƒA courses and has facilitated the “Sundials: Math, Science, Art, and History” mini-course, where MƒA teachers made their own sundials and explored how these devices can be used as a creative way to teach students about science and math.