For Vincent Grant, history is much more than just names, places, and dates. History is not just about knowing when and where something happened, it is about understanding why something happened.
Grant was recently named the school district’s Teacher of the Year. The eighth-grade history teacher is tough on his students.
“I like to push them and find new ways to challenge them everyday,” Grant said.
Grant wants his students to think critically about history. Knowing where and when something happened isn’t enough for him. For him, that’s not the end of the learning process, it’s the beginning.
“I love the fact that you can talk about a particular subject and get kids interested in something,” Grant said. “It’s amazing to see.”
Grant has taught at for seven years. He was a long-term substitute teacher at Ryerson Elementary School for a year before moving to Anthony Wayne.
“There are teachers who teach to content and there are those who teach through content and what makes Vince special is that he empowers his students,” said Michael Ben-David, principal of Anthony Wayne. “He works tirelessly to make sure each and every student understands the point he is trying communicate.”
Ben-David said that Grant “gets the whole child” and that he doesn’t teach just one way to every student. Because different students have different learning styles, Grant will work with as many students one-on-one as is necessary to ensure the young men and women under his tutelage succeed.
“It’s exactly what every teacher should be doing,” Ben-David said.
Asking question is another important part of Grant’s teaching method. Answering them helps students think more critically about what they are learning.
It is also a way Grant challenges his students.
Grant said he is tough on his students. He will discipline a student for being a second or two late for class.
“I believe kids crave boundaries,” Grant said. “They want to know that there are things they can and cannot do.”
Grant wants his students to become genuinely interested in the subject being discussed in class.
“I love it when students develop an interest in something and look up more information about it after class on their own,” Grant said. “That’s what you want. You want them to become life-long learners.”
Grant’s teaching methods seem to work. His former students often go to him for extra help and tutoring. He recently worked late into the night to help students prepare for an important exam.
Clearly, Grant is passionate about his choice of vocation.
“Teaching is the greatest job in the world,” he said.