Marvin Martin was born in Hot Springs, South Dakota. Martin, South Dakota was named for his grandfather, Eben Martin, who was a Republican Congressman from 1901-1907. Marvin moved to Denver at about age six. When he graduated 6th grade, he moved to Kenosha, WI. He stayed there until the end of high school. After that he attended college at Northwestern University in Evanston, where he earned a B.A. in Education. He originally pursued psychology but became interested in teaching instead, after doing student teaching in Glencoe.
"I came to Glencoe as a student teacher from Northwestern University in 1956, working in 5th grade with Jack Cushman at South School. The next year he became the principal of the newly opened West School. I was hired to teach 6th grade which was at Central School in those days. After graduating from college and losing my student draft deferment, I joined the Illinois National Guard for six years, in lieu of being drafted. I took active duty training as a medic from the summer of 1957 until the end of January, 1958. I subbed for a while at Central and then took over a 6th grade class. Beginning in 1959 sixth grades were taught in all four Glencoe schools: Central, South, West, and North. I moved to South where I taught until 1979-80, when South became a K-3 school, West a 4-5 school, and North was closed. I moved back to Central. Around my third year at South, after having lived in two small garage apartments, I moved into a little house on the corner of Harbor Street and Glencoe Road, where our art teacher, Carolyn Caruth and her husband had been living.
I moved to upper school in 1984-85 to teach LA-II with Sally Abraham. We taught literature, writing, and public speaking. I taught the 7th graders for the first semester and the 8th graders for the second semester, and I conducted the independent reading program for 7th and 8th graders all year long. My greatest emphasis was on literature; Sally’s was on writing. I taught both 7th and 8th graders for a while until I took over the 7th grade LA-II and Sally taught the 8th grade. I continued to conduct the independent reading program for both graders. In June of 1995 I left on sabbatical to write THE GREAT HARVEST about by 40 years teaching in Glencoe. A year later I retired.
In 1995, I bought a home in Kenosha, Wisconsin. My Glencoe home was smaller than my garage here. I’ve just had my home sided and it looks beautiful. The Glencoe home was torn down soon after I moved out.
I did a lot of volunteer work during my first decade of retirement. I taught gifted 2nd, 3rd, and 4th graders and learning disabled children in 2nd and 9th grades. I taught literacy skills to four learning disabled adults. I gave monthly slide talks at five senior care facilities. I had two weekly radio programs for the blind, a news program and a travel program. I taught Sunday school at my Glencoe church. I worked with an autistic child and taught English as a second language to a woman from Mexico. I was president and program director for a seniors organization in Milwaukee and I worked on two other programming committees. I served on several committees addressing senior issues like housing, health care, etc. . In December of 2004, I retired from my volunteer work.
Writing has replaced teaching as my reason to get up in the morning. I have 106 hardbound volumes in my library that I have written, most of them since I retired. [editor's note: he now has now completed over 150 books] I currently have six more books in the works including a memoir, LIFE AFTER WORK, and a photo-illustrated travel book, AN AMERICAN JOURNEY, about one of the 30 trips I have taken with students. On this trip we toured the historic Eastern states back in the summer of 1977. I attend MANY films, plays, operas, ballets, and concerts, and I review them all as a hobby. I am working on my tenth volume of reviews."
New Sixth Grade Teacher at South School
(Glencoe News, September, 1958)
“A teacher’s job is to help children want to learn and to make the process fun and interesting,” says Marvin Martin, new sixth grade teacher at South School.
Mr. Martin was born in Hot Springs, South Dakota, had his schooling in Denver, Colorado, and attended high school in Kenosha, Wisconsin. He
received his bachelor of science degree at Northwestern University.
For six years Mr. Martin worked in treatment centers for emotionally disturbed children. He has also done extensive work with the Boy Scouts, the Boys Clubs, and the Jewish Community Centers. Mr. Martin served six months in the armed forces and is a trained medical soldier. He has traveled through most of the United States and has visited Canada and Mexico. For hobbies he likes natural history, photography, and all phases of camping.
The Play’s His Thing
Hidden Treasures in Chicagoland issue of Chicago Magazine, January, 1985
(Most of the articles were about unique craftsmen or charming little restaurants or specialty shops. He was the only teacher that was featured).
Marvin Martin, a seventh- and eighth-grade English teacher at Central School in Glencoe, breathes life into his classes by taking his pupils out of the classroom. In his 28 years of teaching, he’s taken pupils to 43 states and four Canadian
provinces. Each spring he leads a theater tour to New York City and, through-out the year, schedules what he calls “Big Events,” which include plays, concerts, films and exhibits in the Chicago area. Not content with merely cultivating intelligent audience members, Martin also believes in putting pupils in front of the footlights. He has staged 36 plays, elaborate productions from Peter Pan to the Phantom Tollbooth, giving youngsters the opportunity to experience drama as a living art rather than as simply part of a humanities curriculum.