The Student-Run Newspaper of Townsend Harris High School at Queens College

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The Student-Run Newspaper of Townsend Harris High School at Queens College

The Classic

The Student-Run Newspaper of Townsend Harris High School at Queens College

The Classic

Teachers Before Townsend: Dr. Morrison’s transition from the stage to the classroom

English+teacher+Michael+Morrison+publishes+a+book.
Judy Kim
English teacher Michael Morrison publishes a book.
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Becoming an English teacher at Townsend Harris High School was the last thing Michael Morrison expected. In his youth, his aspirations included becoming an actor, author, and even a rock ‘n’ roll star.

Dr. Morrison initially pursued acting and gained professional acting experience in numerous plays, including eight Shakespearean productions. Additionally, he co-wrote six books and contributed to various articles and reviews. His writing has appeared in publications such as The New York Times, the Village Voice, and the London Daily Telegraph.

Alongside his artistic pursuits, Dr. Morrison’s rock ‘n’ roll dreams came true. During and some time after college, he played lead guitar and bass in rock bands. Although his band career ended, rock ‘n’ roll continues to remain as one of his interests. “These days, I enjoy jamming with my fellow teachers,” he said.

Despite his initial aspirations, Dr. Morrison’s passion for English and theater during his high school years eventually led him to the world of education. He said, “After a few years as an actor, I longed for more stability and drifted into teaching.”

In the classroom, Dr. Morrison incorporates theater into his lessons, encouraging his students to perform various Shakespearean plays. Sophomore Victor Koon, a current student in his class, said, “[Dr. Morrison’s] passion for what he does and his enthusiasm make his class engaging and different from others.”

Sophomore Lynn Eo said, “Dr. Morrison is a great teacher. He keeps his class simple and engaging.”

THHS’s culture of respecting individuality aligns with his teaching philosophy, allowing him to share his passions with his students, he said. 

Reflecting on his decision to teach at THHS, he said, “Why eat at McDonald’s when you can have steak and lobster and caviar and champagne every day? Townsend Harris is the best school of them all.”

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