Getting to Know You

James Mort Mr. Mort

Mr. Mort teaches English as a New Language (ENL) at Hudson Junior/Senior High School. After working closer to New York City, he's happy to be back upstate and says that Hudson is quickly becoming his favorite school district!

Here are a few things to help you get to know Mr. Mort:

What is your role here at the Hudson City School District, and where do you work?
I am an ENL (English as a New Language) teacher. I teach three periods in the Junior High School, co-teaching in English/Language Arts classrooms and two periods co-teaching Global 10 in the Senior High School. I also coached the boys’ varsity swim team this winter.

When did you start working here?
I started this past September 2017.

What do you like most about your job?
I am really happy working in this district. I have worked in three different schools in my career and this is by far the one where I feel most respected. I love the students at Hudson, too. There is such a wealth of culture and different people here that I am learning new things every day.

I also love being back upstate. I grew up in northern Dutchess County but had been living in NYC for 12 years. It feels good to be back in the country, away from the hustle and bustle (and noises and smells) of the big city.

What is your education background?
I have a Bachelor’s in Latin American Studies from SUNY New Paltz and I earned my Master’s in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from CUNY City College.

What is your background like – previous jobs?
I have taught ENL for 10 years now (eight years in Harlem, NYC and two years in Westbury, Long Island). My other positions were in elementary schools, which was nice. However, I am really enjoying working with older students. I love being able to discuss content that is higher level and more interesting.

I also worked as a college instructor for aspiring ENL teachers at City College. I did that for about three years (evening classes and summer sessions). That was a great job but it was exhausting to teach elementary school during the day and graduate level college students in the evening.

Tell us a bit about your life and interests outside of school.
I am an avid hiker and camper. This winter I spent a lot of time skiing, too. I love fishing, softball, swimming, boating, birding… pretty much anything outside.

I also coached the boys’ varsity swim team this year, which was an incredible experience. It was amazing to watch the team improve throughout the course of the season. I can’t wait to see how much more we’ll improve next year!

What is the best advice anyone has given you?
I think the most important advice I’ve gotten is to be patient about making life decisions. You want to weigh all the options, consider all aspects in the future, talk to trusted family and friends, and spend some time really thinking before making big moves.

What is your motto or personal mantra?
I don’t have a catchy mantra I like to repeat but I do think it is important to appreciate the good things in life and not let things you can’t change get you down.