Interviewing a New Teacher


Leah Mitchell and Alex Reis

Today we asked one of Frelinghuysen’s newest Social Studies teacher, Mr. Monaghan, about his experience as a teacher at Frelinghuysen Middle School.

Alex & Leah: What’s it like being a new teacher in the school?

Mr. Monoghan: It’s very welcoming, the student body is very open, and the teachers have been very willing to help me get to where I need to.

Alex & Leah: Have you had any previous teaching experiences prior to this? 

Mr. Monoghan: I have. Last year I was a teacher’s aid at my old high school, and before that, I taught at another high school in Connecticut.

Alex & Leah: Why did you choose FMS over all other schools? 

Mr. Monoghan: I just loved how huge it was. There was just such diversity in the student body, and I thought, especially in a Social Studies class, that we could have really good conversations about world cultures.

Alex & Leah: What made you choose to be a Social Studies teacher?

Mr. Monoghan: There was a Social Studies teacher that really made me enjoy school, and I really wanted to give that feeling back to students that may have been like me.

Alex & Leah: What’s your favorite part about teaching?

Mr. Monoghan: My favorite part of teaching, without a doubt, is interacting with you guys. If this was not a part of the job, I wouldn’t be doing it.

Alex & Leah: What is the craziest thing a student has done this year?

Mr. Monoghan:  When we were learning about norms, one of the things we talked about was, that if you break a norm, you get negative reactions. We had the whole class sit on the floor and had the class continue normally. One student walked by and looked into the class with confusion, and I pulled her in and asked her what she thought, and that’s when it clicked with the class, that’s what a norm is. 

Alex & Leah: Overall, how do you like teaching so far?

Mr. Monoghan: So far I love it. It’s everything I want it to be and I don’t see myself doing anything else for a long time.

Alex & Leah: Is there anything else you would like to add or say? 

Mr. Monaghan: I just wanted to give a thank you to all the students in my classes for making it a wonderful first year. You guys are just, you’re fun to be with. You work through everything that I give you, and I think we all learn from each other. I’m excited for a full year with you guys.

Alex & Leah: Thank you for spending this time answering our questions.