Faculty Spotlight: The Understated Greatness of Mr. Fields

Faculty Spotlight: The Understated Greatness of Mr. Fields

Picture by Faith Crossan

If you’ve ever ventured into the 100 quad, you may have run into Mr. Fields, Quartz Hill’s AP Art History and AP Language and Composition teacher. But to me and many students, he’s much more than that. Mr. Fields is a passionate, dead-pan humorist whose quiet nature often leaves him out of the usual teacher appreciation. I sat down with him and asked him questions in hopes of shining a new light on such a hardworking staff member. 

We began with his high school days, and I got to know “Tim” rather than Mr. Fields. He reflects, “I was a part of every different group… I had that fear of missing out.” He discusses playing every sport he could as a kid, eventually finding tennis and golf to be his calling, and continuing those throughout high school. He coins himself a “poser” as he jumps around from different cliques–goths and skaters, his many different passions pulling him in all directions. 

This overwhelming zest for life and expression is what would eventually lead him down the path of teaching. Despite initially seeking out an art school, Mr. Fields attended AVC instead after a battle of passion versus practicality. As his education continued, his interests grew with him. “I was thinking about being an art teacher, and eventually just went into English because I also enjoyed writing. It was another English teacher I had in college that inspired me to switch.” As a former IB student, Mr. Fields took a liking to college-style classroom discussions, and thus, he became an incredibly effective AP teacher. 

As someone who took both of Mr. Fields’ classes, I can attest to his passion for English and art alike– but art history is where he truly shines. “I really enjoy being able to teach the subject and having the ability to share my love for art with people in a non-traditional classroom.” Mr. Fields has the unique ability to make 250 artworks–ranging from cave art to renaissance paintings–each stand out, despite teaching the same works every year. His love for rhetorical and analytical discussions makes the class environment lively and fun. I recall taking the class over distance learning and him encouraging us to make guesses over the screen, “there are no wrong answers in art!” As a senior now, I strangely find myself using art history nearly every day, whether it be impressive trivia questions or allusions to writing and politics. I wish I could go back and take the class all over again, and I encourage everyone to take the course, whether it be solely for Mr. Fields or the unique AP credit on your resume. 

Outside of making sure his students pass their AP exams, Mr. Fields is a family man. “My wife is my best friend, and that’s what I wanted to have in life– I have a boy and a girl, and that was a part of my goal as well; it almost seems like I wrote my future, and I’m just finding it rather than trying to live with what I fell into.” Together, his family bonds over video games, another intense hobby of his growing up.

 In fact, Mr. Fields recently became our highly successful Esports coach, allowing him to connect with a different realm of students. “Now I can affect students who are not interested in art and English… they are finding that this is giving them the purpose that I had growing up as an athlete.” For Mr. Fields, teaching is about connecting with students and leaving a greater impact, which he is doing flawlessly. 

For my final question, I asked what he loves most about his job. “I’m most excited about being a teacher when students are excited about learning, and it’s something that I did to help them shift their perspective to allow that.” In his classroom, there is little routine; Every class period engages in different discussions, which lead down different avenues of learning, allowing for an immersive experience. I miss the days of pre-classroom excitement as to what the day would bring, what I could add to the conversation, and what new perspective Mr. Fields would help me gain. Of all the shining stars we have here on campus, Mr. Fields deserves to be put into the telescope, and I hope now you can see it too.