Teresa Given smiles when she thinks about coming to school every day. The 5th Grade humanities teacher and advisor, who has taught both in classrooms and as a tutor in Henrico County and Richmond for nearly three decades, finds joy in her work and her students.
“Collegiate is a happy place, and I feel it when I walk through the door every day,” said Ms. Given. As a Collegiate alumna (’82), she first appreciated that joy as a student.
“I remember my ninth-grade English teacher, Sally Schrieber, getting the giggles as she taught us the double entendre of some of Shakespeare's vocabulary,” she said. “We all thought it was oh, so funny, and I have liked A Midsummer Night's Dream ever since.”
Ms. Given was tutoring Collegiate students last year when she learned about an open teaching position at the School. With a familiarity of the Middle School schedule and curriculum, as well as established relationships with many of the 5th Grade teachers, she thought she would be a great fit. It turned out she was right.
A graduate of Longwood College, in 1986 Ms. Given immediately put her education degree to work as a 1st and 2nd Grade teacher at Glen Allen Elementary School in Henrico. From 2003 to 2010, she served as a Young Scientists program teacher, taking hands-on science lessons to schools throughout metro Richmond. In 2010, she returned to the classroom as a substitute teacher for 1st through 3rd and 5th Grades at Maybeury Elementary School, before earning certification to serve as a tutor of the Orton-Gillingham method, which offers a multi-sensory, sequential approach to education.
Returning to Collegiate, she has really enjoyed being able to once more take part in its traditions. “I am a very traditional person, and being a graduate of Collegiate, I deeply value the traditions here and feel they are an important part of the fabric of the School,” she said. “I was thrilled to experience Lessons and Carols (a holiday program for Middle School boys) for the first time, and I love that pep rallies are now for the entire school.”
It’s not only the traditions and classroom joys she treasures as a new member of the Middle School faculty. In fact, her favorite memory from the past year happened outside of the classroom.
“It is hard to choose one experience that will become a memory; however, a highlight of the year was completing the Challenge Discovery ropes course with my class,” said Ms. Given. “It was extremely heartwarming to observe them supporting each other, and I was most touched when they held out their hands to encourage me to take some tough steps!”