Newington College

Q&A with History and English teacher Jeremy Green

Q&A with History and English teacher Jeremy Green

History and English teacher Jeremy Green doesn’t just work at Newington College; he lives here as one of several mentors in the Edmund Webb Boarding House.

It’s a busy and active life for the keen surfer and sailor, who was himself a student at the College.

Why did you choose to become a teacher?

An important catalyst was the teachers that I had as a student, as they started me on a path of learning and curiosity that continued long after I’d left high school. At university, I was determined to follow areas of interest and see where I wound up. I took a few History and English classes in my first and second year and found a real motivation to keep working with those subjects. After that first degree I did some volunteer teaching in the Caribbean and decided that it was the career for me. Once I got home, I enrolled in my teaching degree and never looked back!

You were a student at Newington. What made you want to come back the school to teach?

I was! An opportunity came up during my teaching degree to complete an internship at Newington, and before I knew it, I was working here in my first teaching position. I was really excited when that opportunity arose. As a student I had seen what a good school Newington was, and I figured that it would be a great place to learn the craft of being an educator. I also knew that I wanted to become a part of a vibrant school community. One of the best things about Newington is that the life of the school is incredibly rich, with a wide variety of opportunities both academically and in the co-curricular space.

What’s changed at Newington since you finished high school?

One of the biggest changes is that it has grown and adapted with incredible speed and flexibility. Canvas wasn’t a thing when I came through school, and neither were smartboards, VR headsets or immersive classroom designs. The architecture of the place has been consistently updated. The Newington library that I remember was in the Le Couteur wing, just above the old cafeteria. The school has also grown in terms of teaching and subjects – there are a huge number of electives available, the list of co-curriculars is bigger than it ever was and opportunities for student leadership are diverse. It’s exciting to see those changes.

With all that said, I do think that the fundamental culture of the school is the same in many ways. It remains an inclusive, diverse and exciting place.

What attracted you to take on a role in the Edmund Webb Boarding House?

This is my third year over at Edmund Webb. I think more than anything it was an opportunity to become fully engaged in the life of the school. You get to see the experience of being a student, and of being a staff member, from a different perspective. The boarding house is, in many ways, the heart of the school as it is the group of people that actually live here. The diversity, energy and positivity of the boarders and the culture of the house that they have built make it a joy to live in.

I’m lucky enough to be part of a fairly young family, and when the opportunity for boarding arose my fiancée and I decided that we would regret the opportunities we didn’t take more than the ones we did. It’s turned out incredibly well and is a bit of a life lesson in chasing new things and putting yourself out there.

Tell us about a typical day for you as a teacher and member of the boarding staff.

A typical day on boarding duty means a fairly early wake-up and coffee before heading down to the MoD (Mentor on Duty) desk by 7.00am. In an ideal routine, all the boarders are up for their check-in and breakfast by 7.30am and then are off to school by 8.00am.

I’ll usually pop by Papercup café for coffee number two and check in with the boarders in the cafeteria. A day of teaching and then the boarders will have prep in the library after school. Evenings in Edmund Webb are usually split between checking over homework or practice essays, playing pool and table tennis, getting beaten at NBA2K and winding down for the evening. My dog Cooper will usually pop down for a hello as well. All lights out and locked-up by 11.00pm.

What is your most memorable teaching or boarding moment?

Seeing the boys from the first HSC class that I took through come back to school for various things is always a bit surreal. Another highlight was the Drama tour to the USA and the History tour to Vietnam and Cambodia. There was a day in Cambodia when we were riding our bikes to a school where we were doing some volunteer work, with the boys helping to build a new kitchen and outdoor gathering space. On the ride in we got hit by a huge rainstorm. What could have been a tough start to the day was made really fun by the attitude and response of the boys on the tour. It was awesome. That said, often the most memorable moments are just those lessons that go well, exploring a great text or an interesting period of history.

The highlight memories from boarding are the house outings with all the boarders or specific year groups. Taking a very competitive group to trampoline dodgeball, going surfing at Manly, camping out for the 24-hour Relay for Life or getting knocked around in bubble soccer are all lasting experiences.

What do you like to do outside work?

I’ve always been into surfing, having grown-up on the Northern Beaches. I’m in the water as much as I can be. I also love to sail and have been crewing on an XP44 for a couple of years. I sailed skiffs years ago and it’s been great to rediscover the sport. When I’m not in the water, I love to cook with my partner. I’m slowly improving at making pasta from scratch!

Also – and it’d be remiss of me not to mention it – I try to spend as much time as I can reading. I personally love fantasy literature, although I’ve been aiming to read more widely in recent years. The Newington library always has some great recommendations on display. I just read Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. It wasn’t what I’d usually go for and it absolutely blew me away. A good reminder to always read from a variety of genres.

What’s something staff and students at Newington might not know about you?

In 2020 I was in training to compete in my first-ever Sydney to Hobart yacht race. Frustratingly the race was called-off due to the COVID outbreak on the Northern Beaches. The boat’s campaign starts again in July this year with a race up to Queensland, and hopefully we will get to sail out through the heads on Boxing Day!