Meet City Schools
Michael KranickMiddle school, special education English teacherJoseph C. Briscoe AcademyI graduated from…The University of Scranton with a Bachelors degree in theatre, English literature, writing, and a Masters degree in Secondary Education (English).
I’ve been with City Schools since...September 5. This is my first year in Baltimore City Public Schools.
Before I joined City Schools, I…was finishing up my masters in secondary education at The University of Scranton, and student teaching at Scranton High School. Then I was accepted into Teach for America and taught summer school in Philadelphia.
If I could have a cup of coffee with any of my former teachers or mentors, it would be...Jenny Brotherton and Nan Gramigna because they were my rocks during my student teaching experience and assisted me with everything from implementing classroom management procedures to motivating students by means of their interests.
My favorite play is...The Pillowman by Martin McDonagh. It’s an interrogation play I had the honor of performing in while I was in college. The play revamps fairytales I heard as a child and highlights their dark and hidden features.
One thing that many people may not know about me/my role is...how much support I have. Between my incredible administration, paraprofessionals, fellow teachers, and staff at my school, plus all of my Teach for America coaches, mentors, and corps members, I have a tremendous amount of support. Everyone wants everyone to succeed, and we will all assist each other whenever we can.
When I was growing up, I wanted to be...a writer. I always wanted to write short stories because they have all of the complex features of novels with the bonus of brevity. I still try to dabble in writing when I get free time, but as a first year teacher I don’t get much!
The best thing about being a teacher is…My days are never boring. Every day I learn something new. Whether it is a new detail from the text or an interest from my students, my days are jam-packed with excitement.
I believe that one of the best ways to help students reach their potential is to…promote collaboration. Students need to foster their relationships with their peers in order to work together and achieve their common goals. Personally, I like to use improvisation games to promote collaboration in my classroom because they are fun and have low stakes, and the students are all working together to create a scene. Using improvisation also gets the students moving and participating in a different type of instructional activity, which is something they definitely prefer over sitting at their desks and listening to a lecture.
My favorite, fictional example of an ideal teacher or teacher/student relationship is…Mr. Feeny and his students from the show Boy Meets World because, despite their lack of interest in school, he always loved his students and never gave up on them.