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Teacher Spotlight: Babs' Backstory

By Debarati Chowdhury

Mr. Zachary Babolcsay, also known as Mr. Babs, has been teaching at New Hyde Park Memorial High School for four years. Starting off as an attendance officer, he currently teaches ninth grade social studies and sociology.

Source by Anna Detke

Mr. Babolcsay is hard at work, ready to teach his social studies class.

Q: How did you feel about your first year teaching at NHP?

Mr. Zachary Babolcsay: In my first year teaching, I felt a bit overwhelmed. It was all new to me, but at the same time I had a lot of support to help me through. Meeting new kids was one of the best things about my first year teaching, and overall I just feel like it was a huge learning experience that changed how I teach today.

Q: How has your teaching experience/style changed since your first year?

ZB: My teaching style has changed tremendously over the years. At first, I felt like I was not who I actually am because my teaching style didn’t reflect my personality. Now, I feel a lot more comfortable teaching because I can see what works for students and what might not work for students. I work with that.

Q: What advice would you give to the new teachers on their first year teaching at Memorial?

ZB: Don’t hesitate to ask anyone for help. All the staff members are extremely helpful and very nice!

“...understanding to be organized and punctual can really propel you into a great future for college and for your career...”

Q: How does the pandemic affect the way you are teaching in the classroom?

ZB: It affects the way I’m teaching in the classroom because I feel like it limits our ability to do group work, and I also feel like it holds people back from expressing who they are. I say this because we can’t really integrate together due to social distancing and other protocols.

Source by Anna Detke

Mr Babolscay helps a student and answers questions during one of his social studies classes.

Q: What high school and college did you attend?

ZB: I attended H. Frank Carey High School in the Sewanhaka District, and I attended SUNY Oneonta, as well as SUNY Stony Brook. Currently, I have 4 degrees in education, and I’m working on two others.

Q: Besides teaching ninth grade social studies and sociology, do you advise any clubs or coach any sports?

ZB: I coach the district rifle team located here at New Hyde Park. This is going to be my second year coaching.

Q: Do you have any hobbies outside of school?

ZB: Outside of school, I travel a lot. I’ve been to 38 countries, as well as 38 states. Most recently, I’ve been to Montana, Idaho, Washington and Wyoming. Internationally, I’ve been to four continents, and one of my favorite continents is Asia. I’ve explored all of Southeast Asia, with my favorite country being Vietnam.

Q: What advice would you give to the new seventh graders and freshmen?

ZB: I would say for both grades, it is extremely important to work on organization skills. As a former high school student, I felt like I wasn’t organized until later on, and I thought it was too late, so just understanding to be organized and punctual can really propel you into a great future for college and for your career.


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