Teacher of the Month: November

Each month, fellow teachers nominate one teacher who they believe is worthy of the prestigious, highly sought-after title of Teacher of the Month! For November, that winner is our very own choir conductor, assistant band director, reliable friend, and all-around amazing person, Mrs. Janis Griffin! In an effort to learn more about her life and the wonderful things she does, we asked her some extremely hard-hitting questions:

Did you have a teacher when you were in school that inspired you? If so, how did they inspire you?
I had many great teachers at Vanlue that inspired me. They always had creative ways to present material and I could tell they loved what they did. I also had many family members who were teachers that were very influential on my choice to become a teacher.

Do you foresee this being your final job in life?
Yeah...I will always be a teacher...I retired for one day and was sooooo happy to get a new music spot at Arlington!!

When you were a child, what was your dream job?
Childhood dream job?? Hmmmm....probably a famous pianist....but I never took piano lessons which is very evident today!!!!

If you could go back and redo your first year of teaching, what would you do differently?
My first year teaching I was a band director. It was full of craziness and lots of performances. I would write down more of the events that happened! So many good things happened that year, but it seems I only focused on the difficult things.

What drives you to get out of bed so early every morning?
I am an early riser, even during the summer! Life is too short. I want to spend every day doing!!!

What have you learned from teaching?
I really believe that I have learned more from my students and fellow staff members than I could ever teach them.

What is your main goal for teaching? What’s your main goal in life?
Main goals have always been to bring joy while experiencing music. If people look back at their music experiences and smile and say "That was great,'' then I did what I set out to do.

Who is in your family? What's your main goal in life?
My husband is Rev. Rob Griffin- he is an ordained Music Minister in the Church of the Nazarene. My son Jonathan is a Captain in the Air Force and is an A-10 pilot. He is currently stationed in Tucson, Arizona. Jon's wife is Annie and she is a lawyer for the Veterans Administration. My daughter Elizabeth is a graduate of Rhodes State with a degree in Pre-school education and the University of Findlay with a degree in Early Childhood education. She is currently living and teaching in Van Wert.

What activities do you participate in outside of school?
My out of school activities include church and I play clarinet in the Lima Area Concert Band and the Findlay Civic Band. (Then I do laundry and sometimes clean my house....)

If you could choose how to spend one day, doing whatever you'd like to do, what would you do?
I would spend the whole day reading!!!!


Here’s what the teachers have to say about Mrs. Griffin!

Janis is a seasoned veteran with the drive and energy of a new teacher. She cares very much about her program, which is evident with her being here very early each morning and staying late.
Her energy and enthusiasm is appreciated by her students and colleagues.

Janis does an excellent job of organizing her students activities ranging from Musicals, concerts and contests to more importantly her rehearsals. She is very diligent when it comes to finding the resources she needs to make her program successful. She distributes her work load by finding other professionals to come in and volunteer their time so that all groups (whole choir, select, solo and ensemble etc ) can utilize her 42 minute class time effectively. To top it off she makes every student feel welcomed and appreciated and well fed too :).

Mrs. Griffin's organization is amazing. She is a definite planner. The students that were in Frozen have seen and understand the advantages of being organized. The kids knew what was expected of them during each rehearsal. Then she stepped right into the elementary Christmas program the following week. Way to go!

Jan runs a tight ship and has accomplished a lot for our music department because of it. I'm thankful she's on staff to bolster our music program. Thanks for all you do for Arlington!

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