Inside the always loud, always entertaining, sometimes crazy room of Mr. Gigiano

Inside the always loud, always entertaining, sometimes crazy room of Mr. Gigiano

Hardik Singhal, Staff Writer

Your typical teacher doesn’t yell for a whole 80-minute block period while giving a lecture on the Mongol Empire. Then again, your typical teacher probably doesn’t drink nine cups of coffee a day or bring a musket to school so he can fire a blank shot in the classroom. 

Luckily, AP World and Euro teacher Mr. Thomas Gigiano is not your typical teacher.

Some of the stories that students hear in his classroom are, to put it lightly, surreal. It is simply impossible to listen to Gigiano speak and not believe that to some extent he might just be crazy. 

Or maybe he’s just really passionate about his job.

“Crazy means you’re not in touch with reality. I just try and make class entertaining, right?” Mr. Gigiano said.

Well, his class certainly is entertaining. Ironically, Gigiano believes that he is the most “mellow” of his big Italian family, which makes it hard to imagine what that Thanksgiving dinner must be like.

It’s tempting to think all the yelling is just for the sake of yelling. However, Gigiano says he believes it to be an effective form of teaching.

“If you say everything with a monotone, no one really knows which events are most important, which is where yelling comes in,” he said. 

He also believes that students should be more engaged in lecture-based courses, and teacher enthusiasm is one of the strongest ways to accomplish that.

Like all great superheroes, his super power has an origin story: In his early years of teaching World Civ 1, he was assigned a packet to teach to his students. Within the first three days of just reading the packet out loud, he couldn’t take it anymore.

“If I wanted to torture somebody, I would have continued that packet. It was mental pain. If I’m that bored, I couldn’t even imagine what it felt like for the students,” Gigiano said. 

He tossed the packet away and started looking for better ways to interact with the students and make it a more enjoyable experience. 

Now, decades later, he continues yelling in class and showing his passion for history, and his teaching methods rarely fail to entertain students.

Every now and then, between his lectures, he tends to include his crazy life stories.

Like the time he was hit by a car. Or the second time he was hit by a car.  Or when he almost joined a cult in college. Or the time a student threw an apple at his head in the middle of class.

“Mr. Gigiano is crazy, but he’s the best kind of crazy. When he yells in class and goes on a rant, he inspires the class with his enthusiasm for what he is teaching,” former AP World student John Nikitas said.