Instructional Leadership Student: Greta AndersonBy Jill Anderson
Greta Anderson got involved in education while tutoring and taking education policy courses at Amherst College. After a four-year stint in Teach for America, Anderson continued to teach science and math. The latter subject area proved challenging to her as a child and yet today she sees creativity and inspiration in teaching the subject.
What attracted you to the Instructional Leadership strand?
I want to keep teaching math, but I also want the professional credentials to become a master teacher or department head. I want to be in charge of creating the “math culture” at my school and nurturing excellence among teachers and students.
What do you think are the biggest misconceptions about teaching?
People often assume that teaching is either really easy or an inherited talent – it is neither! Each year I stayed in the classroom, I realized how much more I needed to learn. I need to constantly observe, practice, question, and learn to get better. This year should be intensive in all these.
What do you most hope to get out of your year at HGSE?
I want to learn the skills necessary to lead a math program. I have been learning to organize data and engage instructional leadership teams in adjusting curriculum and pedagogy. I have also been studying advanced teaching methods for mathematics instruction. In my non-mathematics-oriented classes, I have been studying alternative teaching strategies, strategies in school reform, and support mechanisms for students’ mental health needs.
What is you favorite part of teaching in your subject area?
Math is a whole separate logic than the other disciplines. It can bring out a creative, problem-solving mindset in students. I really struggled in math growing up and then turned it around in high school, so I love teaching the students who feel that math is not their thing. It’s fascinating to see students progress and take ownership over their successes.
Any plans for when you return to the classroom next year?
I want to be a math teacher leader in a middle school serving a low-income community. I want to implement collaborative systems within the math department and create a common math vision for our students and teachers. I am still figuring out whether I would want to go back to New Orleans, stay in Boston or go back to my native Philadelphia area.