To me and to many other former students, Thomas Flood was not just a teacher. He was a mentor, he was an adviser, and he was a sympathetic ear. More than that, he was a surrogate father figure to me when I was in dire need of one. It’s not an exaggeration to say that his influence saved my life; his devil-may-care exterior hid a depth of compassion and understanding for those he taught, and he was always ready with a quip or piece of honest advice.
I had the fortune to not only be taught by Mr. Flood, but to work alongside him as I pursued my degree in teaching. I observed in his classrooms from both perspectives: student and teacher alike. I witnessed the ways in which he augmented his teaching style dependent on the student, constantly in motion on a wheely-chair, a satellite weaving through the spaces between desks, sharp eyes watching for attention, clarification or questions. It was this experience, both on the receiving end as a student and as a hopeful future teacher, that helped influence my direction in life: to become an English teacher just like him. To affect the lives of my students just as he did.
Rest in peace, Mr. Flood. You helped make me who I am today, and there’s a sea of students who feel the same way. We miss you.