Educators of NH: Christine Gregoire

Intro banner for Christine Gregoire

How did you become interested in teaching?

Text that gives information about Christine

 I went to UNH. I really didn't explore too many majors. A lot of us became teachers, some of us became nurses. I knew I wasn't going into

the medical profession, and now I think I missed my calling. I think I just knew from a very young age that I loved kids. I liked the idea of being there for other people's children. I've always liked the littlest kids. I started teaching at a private kindergarten, and then a Catholic school. And then, when I was home with my kids, I waitressed. I had a pretty big lapse of time before I went back into the schools. I first started volunteering in my own kids’ classrooms. The more I saw, the more it was like, oh, I think I want this again. There was an opening for TESOL, and the hours worked with my kids’ schedule. I started as a paraprofessional, then got certified as an English for Speakers of Other Languages teacher.

Why English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)?

That population of students fascinated me. And it still does. I like how broad the certification is. I start my day teaching at the high school and then, by 10:30, I'm with five year olds. There's never ever a dull moment and there's no break time. For lunch I just have time to scarf my peanut butter sandwich between one building and the other. All together I go to nine buildings. Right now, a couple of days a week, I think I get five schools in one day. But, you know, I say it all the time: being flexible is the best way to be. I often dream about being in one building, just one building the whole day. Still seeing a variety of students, but in one room.

Christine wearing a red jacket

If you could wave a magic wand and change one thing about your position, what would it be?

 I would love it, love it, love it if other teachers had a better understanding, and more willingness, to do for the students what they should be doing in their class so that it doesn't all fall onto me to make things accessible. I always hear, “how are you going to fix this? because we don't know what to do.” There are so many examples of different programs that all of the kids are supposed to have equitable access to, but they’re only available in English and Spanish. Always either English and Spanish. But then I'm like, what about Chinese and Portuguese? It's frustrating. Getting those kids to cross the finish line, too. It's not a one person job, but it's viewed that way. It's tricky. I don't always feel super effective, but I think I'm doing what I can. 

Professional photo of Christine

What would you miss the most if you changed professions?

 If I changed professions, I definitely would miss the kids. You know, even schooling aside, I enjoy getting to know the kids and learning about their cultures and the things that they like, and their family life. I would also miss the summers off. I do like the school calendar. I definitely would miss that. I don't know that I would do well. If I had to work June, July and August. 

Are there any Ed Tech tools you love?

I don't use much - mostly Google, YouTube if I have to. Since we're in-person, there's not a ton of need. They need to improve physical writing skills. If I let them use tech, they'd just use Google Translate and copy-paste, no matter how many times I say it's unacceptable. Sometimes it's like, what are they really learning?