Patrick Cassidy, a Hood College Master of Arts in Humanities candidate with a concentration in Geography, is a General Science Teacher of 7th graders at Wynn Middle School in Tewksbury, MA. Patrick graduated from The Catholic University of America where he majored in Interdisciplinary Studies. Prior to his career switch to teaching, he worked as an officer with the United States Capitol Police. Here’s what he has to say about his time at Hood and career motivations.
Why did you choose Hood?
I chose Hood because I enjoy interdisciplinary studies and the Humanities program embraces such an approach. I took several courses in undergrad in which I was introduced to the Humanities and I was hooked. Also, Hood is cost effective for graduate students and is in a great location.
What have you enjoyed most about your time at Hood?
I thoroughly enjoyed meeting and working with other Hood students and with faculty members. One of the things I miss, now that I am not in the classroom at Hood, is the classroom discussions and conversations with fellow students.
What’s your thesis topic?
My thesis topic is the legacy of exploration in the 20th Century. I am looking at the long-lasting resonance of exploration and how such achievements become the crowning achievements for the nations represented by the explorers. I am questioning what it is about exploration that makes it so captivating to an audience.
How has your experience at Hood contributed towards the change in career path?
My experiences at Hood helped me develop an appreciation for the impact which great teaching can have. Also, my classes at Hood were eye-opening concerning environmental science. Discovering new and interesting topics and issues in environmental science promoted a desire to enlighten other students in these areas. This line of thought eventually led to my career change.
What do you love most about being a science teacher?
Opening students’ eyes to the world around them. I have found the greatest satisfaction when students begin making observations about their surroundings. They are getting their heads out of their cell phones and seeing some of the things we are discussing in the classroom at work in their daily lives. Admittedly, this does not happen all the time, but when it does, it’s rewarding.