Courtesy of Grant Goodman
Need Grant Goodman in a nutshell? Read his last name: good man. WCHS’s very own Grant Goodman became the first teacher to get the Montgomery County Council Of Parent-Teacher Associations (MCCPTA) Teacher of the Year Award.
According to Daria Daniel, the MCCPTA Awards Committee Chair, MCPS teachers and parents nominated him for the award. These nominations were then sent to the MCCPTA Awards Committee, which is comprised of four members. The members reviewed all the applications and decided that Goodman was the best candidate.
This award is given to a MCPS high school teacher who is passionate about teaching, inspires students to work harder and connects with students to make them feel comfortable in a new environment.
“Mr. Goodman is always so friendly, always smiling, and always willing to help students and colleagues,” 9th grade English teacher Christin Nixon said. “He is honest when he is having a rough day but he never lets that stop him from treating others with genuine compassion. He truly is one of my most helpful and kind coworkers.”
Goodman started teaching at MCPS schools in 2007, however he was in a classroom a while before that. Goodman’s first job was a martial arts teacher before college. By the time he attended college, he already knew he was comfortable being an instructor.
“There are plenty of differences between teaching martial arts and teaching English – a lack of board breaking, to name one – but many of the fundamentals overlap, including patience and positivity,” said Goodman.
Not only does Goodman know a lot about teaching from his 13 years of …, he is also the author of The Agent Darcy & Ninja Steve series. Having two jobs – teacher and author – helps Goodman improve his skills in both jobs.
“My creative writing career keeps me searching for pieces of fiction that can present powerful moments, even if you aren’t going to read the entire chapter or the entire novel,” Goodman said. “I keep an eye out for chapters or paragraphs that set off fireworks or explore difficult emotions or far-flung settings; this is because I study them to try to make my own writing better, but also because I think they make for fascinating examples to explore in the classroom.”
Goodman’s writing career helps him a lot with his teaching. The two jobs that he chose connect with each other, making him able to create an immersive learning experience and write great books.
“There is a lot of magic that can be found in a classroom,” Goodman said. “Probably the best form of that magic, to me, is when you overhear a student say, ‘I didn’t think I was going to like that story/article/writing topic, but it was actually good.’ It is a constant reminder that classrooms are places where transformations can take place.”
Goodman has inspired many of his students and helped them realize how fun it is to write and learn new things. The passion that Goodman has for English and writing seeps through his teaching methods, which creates a sense of community in each of his classrooms.
“It was super interesting having Mr. Goodman as a teacher,” WCHS freshman, Lauren Carney, said. “He made the lessons very interesting and read us really cool books. The way he teaches is very interactive and creative, which helped me learn many different techniques that are used in creative writing.”
Since he was a kid, Goodman has held on to what makes him happy and what fills him with curiosity and imagination. With passion and drive to teach his students to love writing and learning, he uses his childhood skills to make ordinary teaching, extraordinary.
“I’ve held onto a lot of what filled me with a sense of wonder when I was younger: a love of comics, cartoons, games, and books with magic or robots,” Goodman said. “These things continue to inspire me with their creativity and innovation. You might find inspiration in theater, in fashion, in medical science, in music, in sports. Whatever it is, you don’t have to make it your career, but if you keep it in your life, it’ll bring you many, many rewards.”