Let’s Yack About Mr. Fanning


Allison Kehoe, Staff Writer

The school’s boys’ varsity baseball coach and history teacher may be retiring next year.

Mr. Fanning went to Ludlow High School as a student many years ago and started teaching here in the fall of 1993. He also taught at Lee High School in the Berkshires for five years before he came to LHS.

Surprisingly, Mr. Fanning “just stumbled onto” becoming a teacher.

He stated that “I was kind of directionless coming out of high school, but I knew that I wanted to go to college, so I took courses that interest me.” Becoming a teacher was suggested to him by one of his college professors, so “I wandered over to the [education] department at UMASS and one thing led to another, and then I did student teaching and it was a good experience, so I kind of just stumbled onto it. It was a good stumble.”

He also stated that “other than playing baseball, I don’t know that I ever really wanted to do anything necessarily.” He knew that he wanted to be a part of something and, “when you teach in school and when you’re with the young people all the time, you feel like you’re a part of something, whereas working at some other businesses, you’re not necessarily part of a community.”

He chose to teach history because “I like to read and history was what I liked to pay attention to more often than other things that were out there. So my first go-to was things about history and my favorite classes tended to be history classes.”

Mr. Fanning was also a student at Ludlow High School years ago. He stated that “my experience as a high school student, which is, of course, quite a few years ago now, it gets blended in with my experience as a teacher here.” He also said that it is hard to differentiate between his experiences as a student and as a teacher, but he knows that “my time here at Ludlow High School as a student was a positive experience and I wanted to recreate that positive experience as I became an adult.”

He decided to coach baseball as well because “the principal who hired me made it understood that when I come here as a teacher, I had to do other things. And, you know, one of those things that they expected me to go into is some coaching. And so baseball was my number one sport, so I kind of went into it, and it’s been a largely positive experience too.”

He said that he had “many, many, many positive experiences. In fact, the positive experiences far out exceed the negative experiences,” at LHS, but his favorite is “just seeing kids finally get things or figure out that they can do stuff and they kinda get some confidence on things, but it would be really hard to break down a specific moment. That would be my favorite.”

He also stated that “A friend of mine, who taught here and now retired, we talked about all time. We both are very glad that we became teachers. We think it was the right thing for us, and too many people are out there hating their jobs. We never really had that experience. Now don’t get me wrong, we’re ready to end when June comes along. But by and large, it’s been a great experience.”

His favorite thing about teaching is “creating the lesson plans that I’m gonna put forward…I like the creation process, the doing process.” His least favorite thing, however, is correcting papers. He said that he’d “rather pass that on to somebody else.”

Though he said that “It’s not a hundred percent determined, but it probably is [his last year at LHS],” he doesn’t have anything specifically that he plans on doing after. He said that it will give him more time to travel, cycle, ski, and read, but he stated that “I don’t necessarily have plans to do anything different except that I’ll have more time to do the things I already do.” 

He said that he will miss the daily interaction with the students and staff the most, though “I will not miss getting up at 5:30 in the morning. I will not miss the rapid fire of the class. I like it to slow down a little bit. And I won’t miss correcting papers.”

He said that teaching at LHS has been a good experience and though he is ready for retirement, he will miss teaching every day.