Ms. Greenwald on supporting her students

Lylah Chavez, Views Editor

With the school year coming to an end it is important to look back at some teachers here at Joliet West. Today, I will be talking about Alyssa Greenwald, an English teacher here at Joliet West High School.

Ms. Greenwald is an English teacher, and has been teaching at Joliet West High School for (waiting) years. She currently teaches grade (waiting).

Some of her students had some things to say. Marilyn Lozano, a freshman at Joliet West, says “Ms. Greenwald is a very understanding and caring teacher, she is the most trustworthy and caring teacher I have ever had, she always cares about her students mental health.” (Waiting for another quote)

I asked Ms. Greenwald some questions and here is what she had to say. When asked, How does it feel to see your students everyday again? She stated, “Seeing my students in person again warms my teacher heart. There were some really special moments with my remote students last year and nothing will ever compare to that experience, but being back in person with my students this year helped me realize even more how much I missed the little things about us all being together day to day like random laughs with each other, seeing former students, being there for each other, sharing ideas and passions, and the authentic conversations that not many people are able to participate in when the classroom is purely virtual. Being together in person helps humanize all of us more so we’re not just reduced to the labels of teachers and students – we’re all unique human beings, not just boxes on a screen.”

The next question asked was, Why do you think it is so important for teachers to support their students, and why do you think you are so passionate about being there for us?

She says, “Supporting students is one of the most important parts of the teaching profession. Aside from supporting students academically, if you’re asking why it’s so important to support students emotionally as well. My answer to this is simple: my students are some of my favorite humans in the world. When they’re hurting, I’m hurting, when they’re full of joy, so am I. We soften the struggle and sweeten the celebrations if we go through them together.

“I can’t always find the “right thing” to say or do when students are hurting, but I can make sure they know I’m there for them. I can share love as much as possible and remind them of their worth. There are only so many things we can control in life; we don’t have the power to heal each other’s pain, but we can make sure no one feels like they’re in it alone.

“I’m not a person who cries easily, but some of my most emotional moments have happened when my students (past and present) share their accomplishments with me. Other than it being a natural part of my personality, I’m not sure exactly why I’m so passionate about being there for my students other than just that I know it’s what they deserve!