Math teacher Ellen Greenman will not return next year


Samantha Weinberg

THINK: Ms. Greenman said she tried to show students how to approach not only math, but life. Above, she taught 10th-graders in Room 307 this afternoon.

Math teacher Ellen Greenman, known for kind and reasonable teaching policies over five years at Shalhevet, told students today that she will not be returning next year.     

Ms. Greenman has taught Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Geometry and Precalculus for the last three years after spending her first two years working in the Educational Support Department through Title I.  

She said she had had a great experience at Shalhevet overall and as a teacher, focused on being a role model. She said she had decided to leave because she was assigned too few classes to teach in 2018-19.

“I loved the one-on-one interaction where you can be more than a teacher,” Ms. Greenman said. “I’m not there to really just to teach math, I’m there to be a good human being and show how to approach life, how to think about things. When students leave, even if they don’t remember the math, they’ll take that into the rest of their lives.”

Junior Jackie Faerstain had Ms. Greenman for 9th grade Algebra 1 and 10th grade Geometry.

“She was so dedicated to teaching, and she would work with my class to motivate us and help us appreciate math,” said Jackie. “She made us motivated and determined to learn, and we’re all going to miss her positivity and motivation.”

Ms. Greenman was viewed as fair and respectful towards students, often allowing them to submit homework late so long as it was before the unit test. She employed the use of group quizzes occasionally, and during her seniors’ last exam of the year, she removed a question because of complaints that the test was un-finishable in the 50-minute period allotted.

Her classes moved at a manageable pace and she worked with students rather than against them.

“She was one of the only teachers I’ve ever had that believed in me and always found ways to make sure I got the grade I deserved due to the amount of time and effort I put in,” said junior Eliana Cohen.   “She never gave up on our class despite all our challenges.”

Ms. Greenman said she was unsure what she’s going to do next, because she has been teaching for nearly 30 years.  She’s considering working in ceramics or landscape architecture, which she has done in the past, and “maybe some tutoring.”

“When I was just in a Title 1, I had made the decision to stay out of the classroom,” she said. “But [Shalhevet] needed a teacher in the math department, and going back to the classroom would be quite pleasurable. I enjoyed it and and the students overall. It’s been very positive.”