Teacher of the Year, Greene brings hands-on experience into the classroom
This is the first in a series profiling Woodford County Public Schools’ 2018-19 Teachers of the Year.
Teaching engineering classes at Woodford County High School gives Robert Greene an opportunity to take what he did during his career and show his students the real-world applications of math, science and technology in the workplace. The WCHS 2018-19 Teacher of the Year says he needs to allow his students to experience productive struggles and creative problem solving in his classroom. And he always encourages them to “aim high” because there are incredible opportunities right here in Woodford County. Before coming to the classroom, Greene says he worked in engineering for commercial air conditioning offices in the 1980s. He continued that career into the 1990s, moving to Kentucky during its “school building boom” after education reform, he says. “I was the math, science, computer geek who would go through the blueprints, find all the different cooling towers, heat pumps, ventilators, whatnot,” says Greene of his first career. He became computer savvy while continuing his education in computer science and mathematics, and says he “absolutely loved” developing programs and using computers “all day long.” “I always embraced emerging technologies. And for this generation going through (school) right now, it’s incredibly necessary for them to be able to adapt and do that,” says Greene, who began his teaching career at Elkhorn Middle School in Frankfort before coming here in 2016. “I’m not sure our schools can always prepare our students for everything that’s out there, so we need to prepare them for anything.” Three of Greene’s four grown children are educators, and he followed them into a profession that he’s always admired – earning master’s degrees and instructional endorsements in his 50s. Greene spent his first two years at WCHS working alongside Jean Porter while continuing to emphasize “hands-on, minds-on” learning in STEM: science, technology, engineering and math. He’s hopeful a second engineering teacher will be hired so more courses can be offered. Because no matter what career students choose to pursue, he says they’ll use what they take away from STEM classes. “I consider myself a learning facilitator – empowering the students to gain skills and knowledge and experience in what they’re doing here,” says Greene, who’s been married to his.