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Teacher profile: Mr. Flatley

Updated: Oct 11, 2022


Photo by Anabella Caudillo

Mr. Flatley, Mark Flatley, Mark. You know him as that one math teacher in the corner, under Espanta, near that one gate – but I know him… as my old period two math teacher. I went to that man every other day to learn and talk about dumb things. But mostly math, since he’s a math teacher. Sadly, upcoming eighth graders will not have him this year as he is teaching juniors and seniors.


I had to ask the important questions, so when asked what animal he associates himself with, he did not respond with a fursona, but a human. I was mildly disappointed. Funnily, when it came to the color he was most like, he answered red. Not the red of blood and pain and Christmas, yet the red that most will say Math is. Just like English is blue and science is green.


Once I asked about his past, I thought I would get a boring response like: “I was a math teacher all my life”. That is not at all the answer I got. Before becoming a math teacher, he dealt with money! Yeah, money! In the early 90s, he had a pretty successful career with trading. He was a floor trader with the Chicago Board of Trade. He also went to University of Illinois Chicago. While trading, he had a friend who happened to be a teacher. She talked fondly of it and Flatley had a change of heart. Maybe, he thought, maybe he can do that too. He had loved helping and working with people, so why couldn’t he become one?


To truly know him, let’s briefly talk about his high school years. Flatley went to school in the north side of Chicago. It was called New Trier Highschool. He claimed to be quite shy in high school and he didn’t really have a clique per se, as he said he mainly hung out with his friends.


Before the interview ended, Flatley reiterated his signature phrase: “Learn math to understand, not to memorize.”



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