CCSC sophomores have earned the school a #1 ranking statewide on the English Language Arts MCAS for the past two years, and 10th grade humanities teacher Colin Tracy is aiming for a hat trick with this year’s class. Visiting his classroom and seeing him in action leaves little doubt that this is no pipe dream. Now in his 8th year at CCSC, Mr. Tracy is a pro at keeping his students engaged and focused on building their communication skills. He’s such a natural and talented teacher that it’s hard to believe he didn’t always know he was destined to become one.
Why I Teach by Colin Tracy
Even though I can’t imagine not being a teacher now, I didn’t set out to be a teacher when I graduated from college in 1994. The thought had never occurred to me. I had always loved history, and as a kid I wanted to be an archeologist when I grew up. I would read everything I could find about the past. In fact, I would read anything I could get my hands on. Being passionate about history and reading a ton are pretty good ways to prepare for being a humanities teacher, but I didn’t know that then.
In college and for a few years afterward, I worked in Worcester and Dorchester with youth in after-school programs. That’s where I discovered what I wanted to do in life: help young people imagine the best possible future for themselves and find their way there. I also realized that I love figuring out how to explain things to people, and sharing the history and literature I am so excited about. Put it all together, and it finally became obvious to me that I was meant to be a teacher. Since 1998 I’ve been teaching English and history to middle school, high school, and college students, and now I can’t really imagine myself being anything but a teacher.
I joined the CCSC faculty in 2006, and I am excited to come back every year because I see the impact I can make on my students’ lives. I get to witness my students discover something in the history we study that has a real personal connection to their own lives. My goal is for students to leave my class with something they learned stuck deep in their minds, something that helps them make sense of the world and their place in it. And I get to coach them as they become writers able to express the thoughts and ideas that are most important to them. I believe the ability to communicate ideas and opinions effectively in writing is one of the most important skills a person needs to succeed in college and in life.
A graduate of Beloit College, Mr. Tracy earned a master’s in fine arts at Emerson College. He teaches 10th grade humanities, supervises the Constitution in the Classroom (pre-law) activity, and is a co-leader of the Outdoors Club.