Teacher Feature: Mrs. Green, Grade 3 Teacher

Welcome to our Teacher Feature! This week, we talk to Mrs. Gloria Green, Grade 3 Teacher at Grace who joined the faculty in the fall of 2017. Mrs. Green was recently featured on a PBS Newshour segment about the way that teachers are re-teaching some of the myths of Thanksgiving. Click here to watch it.

Tell us a little bit about yourself, Mrs. Green.
I grew up in Louisville, Kentucky (home of the Derby!). I went to the University of Louisville, where I majored in Communications. In my last year of college, when I came to visit my sister in DC, I met the love of my life: Rob, my husband. After I graduated, I moved to DC and worked in a Montessori school for a while. Then I worked for many years in non-profit organizations: The National Academy of Sciences and National Geographic. Eventually I felt the calling to go back to teaching and worked at Beauvoir, the school my children attended, before landing at Grace.

Rob and I have two children: Robert, who’s a swim coach like his dad and who has a 6 month old son (my grandson!), Miles Gabriel; and Renee, who just finished her MBA at American University. We are taking a family trip to Costa Rica over Christmas to celebrate!

How long have you been teaching?
I’ve been teaching for about 10 years total, in a variety of environments: Montessori school, public school, and independent school.

What are your favorite things about teaching here at Grace?
As a teacher, I love when the lightbulbs go off for kids — when they get so engaged in what we are doing that they start asking questions like, “Can we do more of this?” This happened recently in our Grade 3 classroom as part of our study of Native Americans. The Maryland Historical Society brought their Traveling Trunk to our classroom and students got to see and touch artifacts. It was amazing to watch their faces. It made them a lot more motivated to learn and research, and they were ready to tackle primary and secondary sources.

As far as my favorite things about teaching at Grace specifically, I love the smallness of this community. It means that you can sometimes have a one-on-one experience with students. Kids can’t get lost in a Grace classroom, and you as a teacher can have more of an impact. I also love our traditions, and the way that we can weave spirituality into our curriculum, such as this year’s theme of “practicing compassion.”

Any surprises so far?
I’m really surprised and charmed by how engaged the students continue to be in their learning from year to year. One of my students from last year, now in Grade 4, spontaneously stopped by our classroom as we started our Native American unit and exclaimed, “Oh! You’re doing this unit! You’re really going to like it.”

Complete this sentence: “To be a great elementary school teacher, one must . . .
. . . be extremely flexible! You must also have a love of learning yourself. You’ve got to be open to new things.”