By: Anna Edmiston
In an effort to give teachers the recognition they deserve, high-school History teacher, Mr. Beck wanted to implement a new program that would allow for this. Beginning this year, along with the Senior of the Month, Arlington Local School is introducing Teacher of the Month. In the same way that seniors are nominated by teachers and then voted by teachers, this process is extremely similar. The only difference is that when teachers nominate their Teacher of the Month, they are to give a written reason why. Then the faculty in its entirety will vote based on that. This is a way for teachers to recognize each other, knowing best how hard that they work for their students every day.
March’s Teacher of the Month is Mrs. Griffin!!
1. What made you decide to be a teacher?
I come from a family full of teachers. I actually can’t remember ever wanting to do anything else. I remember sitting in first grade and saying to myself “when I’m a teacher I’m going to do reading groups differently than my teacher does them!!” My twin sister got so tired of me wanting to play school when we were little. For the record my sister is also a teacher!
2. When did you experience the first moment where you feel you genuinely felt like you had a positive impact on a student?
My music education degree is K-12 Music with a major in instrumental music. So I am a band director by trade. I remember working with my first junior high band. We were preparing for large group contest. They had come such a long way since the beginning of the year. They ended up getting a superior rating that year. Those kids were so happy and couldn’t wait to get to high school band. I really felt like I had contributed in a positive way to their musical lives. Believe it or not, 3 of those kids still keep in contact with me!!
3. What has been your favorite lesson?
Hmmmmm…there have been some really great musical moments when my choirs have gotten “chills” when they sing…when the music and the emotion comes together….those are favorite lessons, however you don’t really plan for them…they just happen!
4. Is there a book that has been influential in your life?
I am a bookworm during the summer. I can’t say there has been just one…but one that sticks out is called “The Blessing” by Gary Smalley. I read this one a long time ago before my son was born. It talks about how we as adults bestow “blessings” on our children through our spoken words and actions.
5. How do you like to spend your summers away from school?
I spend a lot of time at school during the summer preparing for the fall musicals…I will be doing that this year for Arlington! When I do get away it is usually a weekend trip or reading one of my many books!! I also love to bake in the summer and try out new cookie recipes.
6. What is something that you would like to bring to Arlington before retirement?
Well, since I already retired once, I guess before I retire again I would like to provide as many opportunities for the Arlington students to perform. We have many talented vocalists and I’d like to help them try as many musical things as possible.
7. Favorite cafeteria lunch?
I really enjoy the salad bar!! Ooooo and the cookies!
8. What is one thing that you want your students to remember about you?
I want them to remember that I pushed them to do better because I believed they could do better. Preparation is the key and life is too short not to give it your best every day.
9. Did you have a teacher that you look up to as a mentor or a goal?
Most of you know I graduated from little Vanlue. I had some great teachers over there. I always thought I would be a history teacher and a volleyball coach. Then my sophomore year we got a new band/choir director. He was witty and pretty much crazy and pushed us harder than we thought was possible. My junior year I really started to get good as a clarinetist and I decided that I wanted to be a band director…I still loved history and volleyball, but I thought a music coach might be more of my thing. My band/choir director was Mr. Eakin and the guys in the Arlington choir get to work with him about once every two weeks because he volunteers in my classroom now that he is retired!
Congratulations, Mrs. Griffin!