Robin Barney nominated Lisa Greenhow. Barney, whose children were taught by Greenhow, said that she is an inspiration to the students. Barney said Greenhow looks out for the students' best interests and keeps them focused on the right path. Greenhow truly touches the hearts of all her students, Barney said.
Name: Lisa Greenhow
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Occupation: Third-grade teacher at Sierra View Elementary in Oakdale
Family: Husband, Bob, and three sons Josh, 14, Ryan, 4, and Jason, 3.
Background: She moved to Oakdale from Southern California in the seventh grade and has called it home ever since.
Teaching experience: 10 years in Oakdale
Why did you get into teaching? I have been "playing" school since before I was even in school. My family always figured I would be an actress or a teacher. I guess teaching allows me to keep "playing" and be both.
What is your favorite thing about being a teacher? My favorite part of teaching is when my kids start getting excited about what they are learning. I love to follow in the direction their interests take us.
What is the most challenging part of your job? The biggest challenge in teaching is a lack of time and homework. It seems there is always so much more I want to do and more time is nowhere to be found. Homework makes me nutty; kids hate it, parents usually hate it, and I'm not a big fan either. My secret wish is more time in the classroom and no written homework -- don't tell.
Favorite teaching tool or activity in the classroom: My voice is my favorite tool. I love sharing a story and seeing the kids pulled into it. It's also really useful in keeping a math lesson interesting.
What's next in your classroom? Sadly, it is time to wrap up the year. I can't stand thinking about the number of hours I have left with my kids. It feels like I am losing them. Don't get me wrong, they are ready to move on, but I guess I never am.
Advice for new teachers: You have something that you will never have again, your first year. Don't get lost in all the "have to" stuff; do some of the "want to" and a lot of the "love to." You only get this once.
Advice for students: Sit up, take a good breath and enjoy the learning.
Advice for parents: I have had so many amazing parents and what stands out is that they love their kids, hold them accountable for their work and behavior, and then love them some more.
Future plans: I want to write a children's book with my sister.
How do you reach students not interested in school? I get really interested in them. If they feel like someone is genuinely interested and they feel loved, how can they stop themselves from wanting to be here?
What would surprise people about your job? I think many people are surprised about how much time teachers spend in their classrooms after students have gone home. I spend hours there after school and I still have to correct papers and plan at home, too.