John Mycroft has been at Carolina Day School since 2010 and has a son in the Upper He graduated from the University of London with a Bachelor of Science Honors in Mathematics. Most of his career has been spent as a software developer and trainer in the information technology industry, specializing in large data systems. John previously worked for IBM, EDS, The University of Technology in Auckland and a number of banks. Before emigrating to the USA, John owned his own small software company.
Get to know John Mycroft:
How would you describe your classroom? “I like to think of it as “dynamic” or “flexible” or possibly “a mess”. It is a place for students to investigate answers, to discuss strategies and to feel part of a development team. It is somewhere where success, failure, flashes of inspiration and, yes, dumb ideas are equally welcome.”
What books and authors inspire you? “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, not only because of the family connection. The consummate problem solver who applies logic to the most impossible looking problems, occasionally with help from his more intelligent brother. Douglas Adams’s Hitchhiker Trilogy with its firm belief that a truly stupid answer can often lead to the best one. Roald Dahl’s short stories for how they demonstrate that it is not necessary to know where you are going to enjoy a journey. The African Queen by C S Forester for how it shows that, with thought, perseverance and help from somebody you can’t stand, you can achieve great things. (Debatably interesting fact – my car’s nickname is “The African Queen)”
What is your favorite quote about education, mentorship, children, and/or learning?
- “Always be sincere, whether you mean it or not.” - Michael Flanders
- “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” - Albert Einstein
- “Think as you work, for in the final analysis, your worth to your company comes not only in solving problems, but also in anticipating them.” - Tom Lehrer
Which classroom projects/events are you known for? “The Camel and the Bananas” – a seemingly impossible problem that helps students realize that the obvious answer is not always the best one. I suspect it may get overtaken by “The Elevator Problem” in which almost any solution is better than the starting position and, coming soon to a classroom near you, the “Suez Canal Problem”.
What personal passion brings balance to your life? “My family – riding our bikes, hiking, cooking together, just being together. On my own I play the guitar badly and collect stamps (boring old ones, all the same colour). In a recent belated midlife crisis, I bought myself a five string bass guitar (which I named Annie, breaking with a long tradition). Now trying to persuade Susan that a 200 watt Fender amp is needed. (In a previous incarnation I was almost a pro bass player and had fleeting moments of fame with Fleetwood Mac and the Yardbirds).”