Robert Maller, Teacher from UFT
* Retired teacher
To those he taught, Robert Maller was known as “Maestro Maller.”
“Bob was highly esteemed by his students,” said longtime colleague and friend Michael Carlo. “And they liked him. He got the best out of his students.”
Fluent in several languages, Robert was a longtime Spanish teacher at Mark Twain IS 239 for the Gifted and Talented before finishing his full-time career as testing coordinator for District 21, both in Brooklyn. He retired in 2003 but returned to work per diem at PS 199, also in Brooklyn, from 2006-2007. Robert taught for 35 years and was a UFT member for more than 50 years.
Robert, 74, died on April 24.
“In Spanish, like in Italian, maestro only means master or teacher,” said Carlo, a former chapter leader at Mark Twain. He described Maller as diligent, structured in his approach to teaching and fair in his grading. “He had great discipline in the classroom; he never had to raise his voice.”
Carlo said Maller was “really the scholar, an intellectual,” particularly in his field. “Bob not only had a profound knowledge of Spanish but also the etymology of the words and of comparative grammar, for example, between French, Italian and Spanish. These are the types of things Bob and I would talk about all the time. He loved it.”
In contrast, doing manual things, Carlo recalled, “that would never occur to Bob.”
District representative and former colleague Judy Gerowitz remembers Maller as “a man for all seasons; an educator in the truest sense of the word.”
Courteous and polite, he was very much liked by his colleagues and was always willing to help when asked. While he had a serious demeanor, his levity revealed itself after he knew a person for a while.
Robert loved to travel, particularly to Mexico, and he went there often. Another favorite destination was Spain. He also was talented artistically and was an art historian.
Robert was very observant of his Jewish faith, Carlo said, “strict to the letter.”
He has no known survivors.