The Interview: Mr. Quest
William Arthur Ward once said: “The Mediocre teacher tells, the good teacher explains, the superior teacher demonstrates, and the great teacher inspires.”
He tries his hardest everyday to tell students that they are great, that they should be more than who they were yesterday. Some of them listen while others ignore all the wisdom he has to share. Every day he walks into class with a smile on his face and a joke on hand, and students wait eagerly to absorb what he has to teach.
Mr. Quest the Forensics and Earth Science teacher wasn’t always on the path to being a teacher.
What was your favorite subject in High School and why?
“Math was my favorite subject because I liked to analyze things and put things together. Math was a challenge and I loved numbers. I loved it so much that I would have been a math teacher.”
What was your major in college? Did you change your major? If so why?
“I went to school for nursing. My mom was a nurse and she made me a deal: If I went to college for nursing, she would pay for college. I took the offer, but after a year I dropped it and transfer to LIU for Biology and Chemistry. That’s where I found my love for science.”
Why did you change from Math to Science? How did you decide Math or Science?
“I didn’t love math in college and I learned that the hard way. I also could do more with science than math, but I still have the same passion for both.”
How long have you been teaching and what was the first subject you ever taught?
“I have been teaching for 16 years, so since 2001. I first taught Environmental Science.”
Why did you choose teaching?
“While I was in medical school a friend told me about a teaching job at a school and I thought it would be a part time job. I would make money to pay for medical school and then I would go back to finish, but that never happened. I fell in love with teaching and I stayed. I also learned I didn’t want to be in the lab all day and teaching is a great way to still be in the lab, but only part time.”
Do you have a moment in your career that you will never forget?
“On my first job at a middle school I quit after two weeks. I didn’t like teaching middle schoolers because they refuse to respect their teachers. I remember that at the time I had an afro and this kid said to me: ‘I will smack the afro off your face.’ And that was it for me. I quit the same day.”
You currently attend SUNY Stony Brook. Why did you decide to go back to college?
“I love learning and I wanted to teach kids other things. I wanted to expand my knowledge and I’m currently a Science Education Major at Stony Brook.”
Why did you choose Stony Brook and why did you choose that major?
“It was all about price and convenience. And the major is just because I wanted to become knowledgeable about all the sciences.”
If you could would you change your major?
“No and yes. I love what I do and to me it’s not about the money. But if I could, not that I would, I would love to do: Physical therapy, be a doctor, a lawyer, or a homicide detective. I would love to be a lawyer and relate it to forensic science: being in a courtroom and question people.”
What advice do you give to kids who are struggling to choose a path?
“I would start with community college or take courses there and just sample and feel your way through it and eventually you will find something and then you can go for your passion. Or you can go on a program on the computer and plug in what your hobbies are your likes and dislikes and the computer program will spit out a fit based on your characteristics. But if not, just go to college and you’ll find something.”
Throughout his 16 years of teaching Mr. Quest has shown his determination and persistence to keep learning new things.
Mr. Quest takes time out of his day to make sure all his students are succeeding in school while also keeping up with personal matters. Great teachers go the extra mile to ensure that all their students know what direction they are headed.
– by Genary Gomez ’17