by Ashley Yuen '13
After Mr. Templin, former magnet Research and Experimentation teacher, retired just before summer for the relaxing life of travel and family, the search for the new magnet teacher promptly began. By the end of summer, the word got out that Takoma Park Middle School teacher, Mr. Street, also the father of current Magnet senior, Brian Tien-Street, would be taking the job.
Ashley: How long have you been teaching?
Mr. Street: 29 years. I taught at Takoma [Park Middle School] for 28 years. I taught Tech. Ed. for 12 years and Magnet Comp. Sci. for 16 years.
What kind of things did you do in Tech Ed? Was it similar to R and E?
It was like woodshop, but we worked with metal and plastic too. We designed things to understand criteria, constraints…[etc.]
So, what made you decide to come teach at Blair?
I was drawn to Mr. Ostrander’s magnetic personality [no pun intended]. Actually, I was glad to come to Blair for Ostrander because I knew him from Takoma Park. Before he came to Blair, he taught at Comp. Sci. at Takoma for a few years, and now I actually had to sit in his interviews. I like Blair. It’s a nice change because I’ve been doing the other thing for quite a while. I’m very familiar with the magnet student population already.
Have any Blair teachers made a big impression on you so far?
*laughs* Well that’s a loaded question. I mean, I’ve only worked with a few Blair teachers so far, and they all seem very good. Ms. Piper, Mr. Schafer, Mr. Kaluta…they’re the ones I’ve worked with the most.
Who or what has been most helpful in adjusting to Blair?
Everybody has been very helpful. Mr. Kaluta has told me a lot of things, like the way they did things in the past. Mr. Templin actually left instructions for me. *Picks up a stack of disks* These disks have all the worksheets, safety tests, etc. Mr. Templin seems to really be enjoying retirement according to his Facebook. I’m jealous of him! He gets to gallop around the globe, going to places like Iceland, and not having to grade papers.
Was there anything else in particular that helped, besides the teachers?
Well, over the summer, Mr. Kaluta and I actually went to a Material Science camp in the campus of Ohio University. It was five days long, but it was really helpful and fun. It was a good refresher.
What are some funny, interesting, or weird experiences you’ve had at Blair so far?
*shakes head and laughs* Uh….yeah. I don’t know. I have a couple of former students who work here now. One of them is a student teacher actually and the other is a science teacher: Aaron Williams.
Did these students remember you?
Yeah! They mostly did. I’ve met some former students that I remember, but actually don’t remember me. It seems like most of my students remember me though.
Out of the classes you teach, do you have a favorite? (i.e. R and E, Material Science)
*Sarcastically* No, I hate them all. Especially that Material Science class, they’re a bunch of heathens!
Just then, magnet junior Olivia Leung, walks in the classroom and overhears his response. She is one of his students in Material Science.
Olivia: Hey, they’re not all bad!
Leora Goldbloom-Helzner, also a magnet junior, enters the room. They converse about her recent activities in opera and about whether her younger brother will be coming to Blair or not. After they leave, the interview resumes.
Ashley: I’ve noticed that you do this “loser” sign a lot. What’s with that? Why do you do it?
Mr. Street: Because they’re [the students] are losers! ‘Mr. Street, I forgot my homework.’ Loser. ‘Mr. Street, I don’t know my locker combination.’ Loser. You know, the typical things. It’s silly because everyone knows that these magnet students aren’t losers, but it’s funny to kid around with them because they do mess up too.
Daniel Barg, a magnet junior who also went to Takoma Park Middle School, works silently in the room. Mr. Street motions towards his direction.
Mr. Street: Even someone as perfect as Daniel…I give him the loser symbol!
Daniel: I don’t mess up! I may have messed up in middle school computer science, but I don’t mess up now.
Mr. Street and Daniel debate for a few minutes about whether Daniel messes up a lot. The interview resumes.
Ashley: Well, anyways, what do you look forward to most for your Blair experience?
Mr. Street: Vacation. Just kidding *laughs*.
What about Needwood and Wallops? Have you heard of those?
Yeah, Needwood and Wallops sound good, but I’m not even thinking about that. I’m just thinking about day to day: getting through all the new stuff, new stuff I have to figure out how to do, and just how to do the job because it’s a big switch. It’s really different from what I taught, Tech Ed, before.
Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions!
No problem. *laughs* Just don’t publish that one bit about…*cut off by request*
It seems like Mr. Street has no problems fitting in to the life of the Blair Magnet. Students and teachers have welcomed him with open arms. Students are already comfortable with talking to him about school and their life outside of school, and are even able to casually joke around him. After all, according to Mr. Street, “9th graders are just like slightly older 8th graders.” It looks like Mr. Street is in for a great year at Blair!