Psychology Pedagogue Ms. Jane Green to Retire

Johanna Kopelman, Reporter

Q: When did you start teaching?

A: I started teaching in 1976.

Q: Why did you decide to teach?

A: I knew I was going to teach from probably 9th grade on. I was always going to be a teacher.

Q: Did you ever consider doing anything else?

A: Not really. I think when I was younger I wanted to be an astronaut like everybody else did. I think I was always going to be a music teacher because music was always a huge part of my life, so it was always going to be something to do with music I figured. Then, when I got to CIty High and my senior year I took a psych class, and it was my teacher’s first year teaching, and the first year that they had psych, and so it was really awesome, I just loved it. I saw psychology and I was like, ‘That’s it, I’m going to do that.’ So when I got to college I decided that I would combine music and psych and be a music therapist. That still is something I may or may not do at some point.

Q: Where did you go to school?

A: University of Iowa, because it was in the top ten for psych and that’s where my dad said I should probably go.

Q:What schools have you taught at?

A:  I taught at [another high school] for four years, that where I first started teaching. I taught psychology, sociology, anthropology, English 9 with all the freshmen, and English 12 with all the seniors.

Q: How long did you teach English?

A: I taught English for 19 years, all while teaching all the social studies.

Q: What are the best parts of teaching?

A: Working with kids. I love working with kids. Being passionate about your subject, which is why I think it’s so fun, if you get to teach your passion. Connecting with kids and making psych part of their life.

Q: What are your favorite things to teach?

A: Anything psychology. I have favorite units with each of my classes. With Behavioral Science I love teaching adolescence and all the different parts of that, but I also love taking kids to the mortuary and looking at the other end as well. I love that about Behavioral Science. I also love getting to read autobiographies and finding out what makes you guys tick, you know it’s nice for me to find out how things have changed or how they have stayed the same. In General Psych, I  love doing the experiments, I think they’re so much fun. Watching kids get turned on to psychology that they will probably use in their life time at some point. Abnormal Psych, the disorders, that’s probably one of my favorites. The whole class are seniors, and it’s all about their perceptions of what disorders are and finding out they really are. It’s an exciting class to teach.

Q: What have you learned from teaching?

A: I think I learn as much if not more than the kids do. Because the world is always changing and psychology is always changing. So I’m always learning something new. When I first started teaching, we didn’t teach much brain. The brain was really only taught in science classes. So that wasn’t really part of our curriculum. Over the years it became our curriculum, the whole thing. So now I teach about the brain in all my classes, which is exciting.

Q: What will you miss most about teaching?

A: The kids, really just being able to connect with them.

Q: What are your plans following retirement?

A: At this point, it’s pretty much up in the air. I do hope to take some trips, and visit some more lighthouses, because it’s my passion to visit lighthouses. I just need some time to read books I haven’t had a chance to read, and just do stuff around home that I have put off.

Q: Any book or lighthouse in particular?

A: I would like to go to Cape Hatteras. I’ve been to almost all of them in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. So, I think I’d like to go to the East Coast.