NEW ROCHELLE, NY — New Rochelle High School business teacher Robert Thompson originally planned on a career in advertising. But his thoughts turned to teaching in an instant one day when he was serving as a counselor at Camp Quarropas in White Plains while in college.
A painfully shy boy who Thompson had been talking with for weeks hugged him while leaving the camp and thanked Thompson for being his best friend there.
“I wouldn’t be here if that moment hadn’t happened,” Thompson said this week, in his classroom lined with computers.
Thompson is known for his knack for relating to students and their interests. When Principal Reginald Richardson recommended him for tenure approval on September 5, he praised the teacher for his ability to make accounting an engaging subject.
“Mr. Thompson is a great teacher because he makes connections between the curriculum and the real world to help the students become fully engaged learners,” Richardson said.
Thompson was one of 38 teachers and other faculty members who were celebrated that night for receiving tenure. He is beginning his fourth year as a teacher at NRHS, after student-teaching there for one year. Thompson livens up topics that some might find dry by weaving in a wide-ranging mix of references. Shark Tank, driving a car, his father’s home security business – they’re all fair game for use in his illustrations and analogies.
“He uses examples you find in sports, or in regular transactions,” said senior Jeremy Tesler, who took one of Thompson’s classes in 10th grade and is taking college-level accounting now.
Elizabeth Fullman, a senior who is taking her second class with Thompson, said he also has a command of the topic.
“If someone has a question, he answers it so clearly,” she said.
Thompson knows that some people love accounting while others hate it. But he tells them they need not be geniuses at math to understand it. And even if they don’t become accountants, the subject can help them navigate almost any challenge they take on.
“You can use the same type of thought processes and the same analytical ability in any area of life,” he said.