Mr. Christopher Tarmey


Wachusett English teacher, Mr. Tarmey

How long have you been a teacher at WRHS?

This is my 28th year.

Who or what inspired you to become a teacher?

Most of my relatives are music teachers, so maybe teaching is in my blood!  Other important figures include Marilyn McCaffrey from Fitchburg State College, who convinced me that I could be an effective teacher, and Chuck Danielson from Shrewsbury High School who taught me how to be an effective teacher.

What is your favorite part about teaching?

I especially enjoy seeing my students’ excitement when they notice modern allusions to ancient works of literature that we’ve studied.

Have there been any important lessons that you have learned throughout your career?

I’ve increasingly noticed that technology is not necessarily a friend to education; in fact, it is often a hindrance.

Are you involved in any other additional activities at the school or in the community?

Until the pandemic made it impracticable, I was the advisor of the WRHS Acoustic Guitar Club.

What is your favorite method of teaching?

Socratic questioning.

What do you think is an important thing for all teachers to keep in mind?

What works well with one group of students will not necessarily work well with a different group.  Lessons need to be revised and adapted yearly to suit students’ current needs.  Also, your students will remember you more for who you are than for what you teach them.

What do you think makes you a good teacher?

I read a lot.

In what way did the pandemic affect you the most?

I learned that I rely very heavily on seeing students’ lips move in order to comprehend what they’re saying.  The masked mouths of the pandemic made me realize that I had taken this for granted.