Greta Whiddon is a language arts teacher for fifth graders at Greenville Middle School. Her students say they look forward to coming to her class. "She's a great teacher, she interacts with her students, and teaches them and shows them new ways how to learn," says Jose-Hall.
Classmate Courtney Rice adds, "we have like spelling basketball, like she gives us a word and we have to spell it, if we spell it right we get to try to shoot a basket; and it's like girls against boys and if we get the basket we get a point."
One of Whiddon's other innovative ideas is literature circles. Kids working in groups analyze books. The stronger readers pull along the others. Principal Kathy Murphy says, "the children thrive in her classroom. She's a very frequently requested teacher by fifth grade parents who want their children to have the opportunity to be in her room."
Whiddon is also concerned with non-academic growth. Each year she organizes a successful fundraiser for cancer research, to give students a lesson in life. "The new pair of tennis shoes is not the most important thing. A lot of times there are things you can do to help the bigger picture. And I think it's important for them to see their adult teachers and their friends at school helping to give to that cause," she says.