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Thomas Halley: Class of 1995

Thomas Halley: Class of 1995

Thomas Halley, class of 1995, and current teacher at The Washington Market School’s Hudson Street site, was born and raised in Tribeca which, at the time, was a community of artists. WMS created a true sense of community for Thomas and the neighboring children of Tribeca. His family remains close with many WMS alumni from that time – a testament to the strong connections our school builds to this day.

Having majored in Neurobiology and Philosophy at University of Wisconsin Madison, Thomas says he found teaching quite by accident when he did some substitute teaching at WMS, and has not looked back since. Thomas believes that a love of play and imagination are aspects of life that do, and should carry into adulthood. As an avid rock climber and world traveler, he brings his vivacious spirit with him to the WMS classroom each day.

Thomas defines himself as a Montessorian in life and in the classroom. He prefers sitting on the floor with work spread out and models practical life skills for his students. He credits his approach to teaching to his time at The Washington Market School, and is grateful to provide a learning environment where his students have the freedom to move and discover just as he did in his early years. 

The Hudson Street gym was a place of fond memories for Thomas, where he spent time playing with classmates and admiring the Where the Wild Things Are mural that still remains on the walls today. When asked what struck him the most about  returning to The Washington Market School as an adult, Thomas said “the gym,” without skipping a beat. He reflected on how places can feel so large as a child and how those same places feel smaller in scale when we return as adults, For Thomas, it feels particularly special that an environment where many joyful memories were created for him as a child, is the same place in which his  students will undoubtedly build their own memories and hold dear for a lifetime.