A Day in the Life: Mr. McQuade


Mr. McQuade and his class standing at Emory University for an AP Psychology field trip (Barbara Rosenblit / The Weber School).

Matthew Sidewater

Many of us have met Mr. Charlie McQuade, the psychology and history teacher at the Weber School, as well as Weber’s resident Scotsman. However, not all of the students truly know him, and they do not understand how much works he puts into his lessons.

McQuade started teaching in 2010 in Scotland, and then began teaching psychology as well in 2012. He started because he was taught by a variety of teachers, both helpful and not helpful. McQuade decided that he should make his own positive influence on the world’s youth, stating “I genuinely think teaching is the best job in the world.” McQuade teaches many subjects at Weber, including International Issues, AP Psychology, Criminal Psychology and AP World History. Mostly, he enjoys teaching the parts of each subject that his pupils are fascinated by. In the case of AP Psychology, he enjoys teaching about the “States of Consciousness,” which includes information on hypnosis, sleep disorders, and psychoactive drugs. When asked what message he wants to give to students who are interested in taking AP Psychology, Mr. McQuade answered, “Anybody that’s thinking about taking it should come and speak to me or to students who are already taking it.”

After moving from Scotland for his wife’s job, McQuade quickly learned he would need to adapt to teaching in the United States. For example, he would teach six or seven 50 minute classes a day back in Scotland, but at Weber he teaches three classes a day, each of which are 70-80 minutes in length. Moreover, the Scottish schools McQuade taught at did not give children breaks between classes because the classes were so short. “That’s new to me,” McQuade said. Furthermore, students in the United States need to deal with maintaining their GPAs, while the United Kingdom lacks such a system. However, McQuade said that the students in both Scotland and at Weber are the similar because both groups of students are driven to succeed in school.

When asked what motivates him the most, he responded “I […] really like the people I work with. I like the faculty and I like the students, and I want to see the students get a little bit of success. And when you enjoy your job, you enjoy getting up in the morning.” McQuade also enjoys building relationships with his students and provides a challenge for them through classwork. He also says that you’ll sometimes see an improvement in the student’s work over time, and that is “very satisfying.”

When McQuade is not in the classroom teaching, he is in the classroom grading. McQuade teaches a total of over 100 students across the school year and teaches six different classes, so grading takes up a large percentage of his time. “I find myself grading all the time,” says McQuade. McQuade explained that grading is a helpful tool to help him understand what his students do and do not need help with. When not grading, McQuade can be found meeting with students, answering emails, advises the Model UN team with President Asher Stadler and Vice President Aaron Gordon, and planning lessons.

Making lessons is a requisite skill for all teachers. According to McQuade, the way one teaches is more important than the content of the lesson. His lessons tend to revolve around the characteristics of students. “The principles of a good lesson are determined by the students you have,” he said.

McQuade also explained that his bond with The Weber School grew stronger as time passed. “I feel much more comfortable than I did at the start,” McQuade says, “Work is easy if you have good people that you can trust. I think we have a very good faculty.” Moreover, McQuade revealed something about the famous “get out” joke that appeared in The Weekend Update: “It’s not a joke.”