Who is Mr. Greene: Find out what’s up with the suit


Photo by thomas Whalen

Mr Greene stares out into the distance. His classroom is filled with his favorite trinkets.

Anna Egleson and Thomas Whalen

For as long as Thomas Greene — a new addition to the English department — can remember, his father went to work in a suit.Greene recalls how, as soon as his Dad got home, he would change into a t-shirt and jeans, and spend time with his family. Growing up, Greene viewed this as a sort of separation between professional and personal life.

Greene continued this tradition when he started his first job. When he moved to Noblesville High School, he became the talk of the school. Students are used to a specific attire from teachers. Polo shirts and khaki pants; so it was novel to see a newly hired English teacher dressed to the nines first thing in the morning.

Greene moved to Noblesville after teaching at a school that offered a small student to teacher ratio. Once he transitioned, he found that teaching at Noblesville was a lot different than his old school, but he could still put to use a lot of his teaching philosophy and experience, albeit in a different setting.

“There were amazing days, but there were also hard days that were really intense,” Greene said. 

As Greene settled into NHS, he found that his experience in the educational field had drastically changed. Switching from such a demanding teaching environment to Noblesville, which tends to be more relaxed, was, according to Greene, quite jarring.

Previously I worked with at-risk youth for five years, students who were struggling academically, students that had been in and out of juvenile detention. So I worked with kids that just needed a lot of 1-on-1 time and care,” Greene said. 

According to Greene, students at Noblesville seem joyful compared to the students he has become used to over the years; Greene has noticed that it makes it a lot easier to teach and form connections when students are excited to be in your class. 

Because of Greene’s accepting nature, he is well loved by his students.

“Mr. Greene is a very outgoing and flexible teacher. He is very conscientious with his students, and makes an effort to understand each and and all of them,” Junior McKenzie Wilson said.

Everyone has wins and losses, although usually they pertain to themselves; but every once in a while, one’s greatest pride lies in other people. Because of his past, he knew that some kids had to work extremely hard just to stay in school, let alone graduate successfully.

 “A lot of my wins have been seeing kids graduate,”  Greene said. Seeing his kids walk across that stage was his greatest source of pride as a teacher, he said. Some students also became parents at young ages, and according to Greene, another one of his biggest wins has been watching students grow into that role and even excel in it. 

His teaching philosophy is in line with what he finds pride in as a teacher; watching students grow and helping in that process.

I tell my students this everyday when they walk in: You are who you are, and that’s a great thing,” Greene said.

To Greene, all that matters is his students’ happiness and fulfillment in their own lives, even if it might not be in the conventional sense. No matter the starting point of a student, if a student wants to go to college, he does his best to enable them in that journey. And if the student’s path changes, he finds other ways to assist and prepare them for their future– whatever that may look like.

However, being popular isn’t Greene’s goal. According to him, his true goal and purpose is to help students succeed, not be their friend. Meeting students where they are, and pushing them to succeed. All to give them the opportunity to graduate, and feel that pride, both Mr. Greene, and the student.

“I think to be remembered as an effective teacher is one of the things I want to be remembered most for. I also want to be remembered as the teacher that never turned anyone away,” Greene said.