The best thing about teaching
By Julie Matuszewski; photo courtesy of Tony Greene
“The best thing about teaching is the connections I make with my kids,” said Rocky Heights Middle School (RHMS) math teacher, Tony Greene. “I really believe it is not the content that is taught by the teacher but the connections the teacher makes with their students.”
Greene always knew he wanted to work with kids and considered being a pediatrician, but his love for numbers landed him a job as a financial advisor after college. After three years, Greene discovered that was not meant for him.
He realized he was meant to teach, so he returned to school and received his master’s degree in education from University of Denver. Greene’s first 14 years of teaching were at Timber Trail Elementary (TTE). He joined TTE the first year the school opened. He taught fifth grade for nine years and fourth grade for five years. He said he loved teaching elementary kids because of the relationships he built with his class and to see how much his students learned in one year.
For the past four years Greene has been teaching math at RHMS. He said that he enjoys teaching middle school even more because his students are at an important time in their lives where they are trying to figure out who they are and what they are passionate about. With his own love of numbers, Greene loves helping his students build their own confidence not only in themselves, but also in math.
Greene and his wife, Erika, are both Colorado natives. Erika is a neonatal nurse practitioner at Sky Ridge Medical Center. The couple met during their first year while attending Colorado State University. Now married 21 years with two sons – Gavin, a ninth grade student at Rock Canyon High School and Gage, a seventh grade student at RHMS – the Greene family is happy to call Castle Pines home. Greene says the family loves the feel of a small community and enjoys all the fun neighborhood events.
Greene does not keep his teaching skills confined to the walls of a classroom. Sports are a big part of the Greene family. He said he has been blessed to not only have taught both of his sons in his classroom, but also out on the flag football field.
Along his education journey, Greene said he learned lessons from great teachers and lessons from not-so-great teachers. He said he feels that in their unique way, both inspired him along his own path in teaching.
Greene tells his students his methods of teaching are driven by bad experiences he had as a student, and it is those experiences that he appreciates when he hears his student laugh and say, “Oh, I understand now!”