The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, May 9, 2008

Daryl Greenwood, Lynn Walker retire after many years at the Carlisle School

Retiring Carlisle School teachers Lynn Walker (left) and Daryl Greenwood. (Photo by Cynthia Sorn)

The Carlisle School will be saying goodbye to two long-time teachers this spring. With a combined teaching experience of over 60 years, 40 of which were in Carlisle, Daryl Greenwood (first grade) and Lynn Walker (second grade) leave with memories of hundreds of children. They both say the hardest part of retiring is saying goodbye to the students and the teaching staff. “We will come back to visit the kids at events,” said Walker. Many of their former students stop by at lunch time or in the morning.

The camaraderie of the teaching staff has been a major part of their experience. “The teachers help me to be a better teacher,” said Walker. “It’s a home-life feeling, very non-competitive,” added Greenwood. “The standards are very high” at the Carlisle School, said Walker, calling the teaching “cutting edge.” Noting the strong team spirit among the teaching staff, Greenwood said teachers are comfortable visiting each other’s classrooms and sharing ideas. Both plan to continue their social connections with the other teachers.

Asked if they could recall a funny experience during their teaching careers, Greenwood said, “I’m not sure a day goes by without something happening.” Walker related a story of mistakenly trying to clean a desk with deodorant instead of shaving cream, to the delight of her students.

Changes at the school

One of the biggest changes they’ve seen in teaching is the way reading is taught. Through research and cooperative meetings, the school’s reading program has evolved, they said, to an excellent program using real books instead of programmed readers. Walker said that in the early years the curriculum in each elementary classroom could vary, but former Superintendent Davida Fox-Melanson “got us organized” and standardized the flow from grade to grade.

Asked what advice they would give a new teacher fresh out of college, Walker noted that observing colleagues by “getting into their classes” is vital. Greenwood said the reading program at Carlisle is unique and powerful, and requires teachers who understand how to teach without a standardized reading program. “New teachers should ask questions,” she added.

Future plans

As for their next steps, they are both exploring their options. “I know my future will have kids in it,” said Walker. She said she may be a tutor, though she wants to “take a year and let it flow” before she decides what she will do next. Greenwood said she will continue her volunteer work, such as making items for families involved in long-term treatment at Children’s Hospital. She also plans to travel and wants to see more national parks. “Things that I always put off to the week-end or summer,” Greenwood added.

“The Carlisle community is wonderful,” said Walker. Greenwood said the teachers appreciate that parents are invested in their kids. “Our years here have been positive and we feel very fortunate,” said Walker. ∆

© 2008 The Carlisle Mosquito