Student Media Advisor wins secondary teacher of the year

Photo from the schools Instagram, @caneycreekhs.
Photo from the school’s Instagram, @caneycreekhs.

When journalism adviser Stephen Green walked out of the Walter P. Jett Teaching Center, he would leave with more than the 2024 Conroe ISD Secondary Teacher of the Year award. Amidst the applause and overwhelming stares, he’d also receive the appreciation of his peers. 

“It’s a strange feeling to have everyone look at you and think ‘You’re the best representation of teachers’ when I feel like death by comparison,” Green said. “It was just really strange to be up in front of all these people who I think are much better teachers than I am and then having to win and having to turn and look at them.”

Green found his path to teaching unexpectedly, discovering a vacancy for a debate coach and world geography teacher while covering Conroe ISD as a reporter. After a short tenure at Caney Creek, he assumed the position of a retiring journalism teacher. Now, Green juggles multiple roles, serving as Student Media adviser, Speech and Debate coach, and President of the Texas Association of Journalism Educators.

With experience, Green encouraged the importance of fostering independence in students, resisting the temptation to lower academic standards based on demographics. “Instead of lowering the bar, I try to keep the bar high and lift everybody else up,” Green said

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Central to Green’s teaching is the belief in empowering students to recognize their unique skills. “I think people should own their set of skills, and my particular set of skills is helpful to many groups,” he remarked. Green described his roles not just as a profession but a hobby he is paid for.

Despite his accomplishments, Green remains modest about his abilities, finding it challenging to celebrate his own achievements. Yet, he acknowledges the significance of the recognition, appreciating the validation of his teaching approach and values. “It means my peers recognize what I do as important,” Green said. 

In the face of competition, Green ended the ceremony with praise. “The other teachers were just really magnanimous and self-confident in the ways that I’m not,” Green said. “And when you see people who are owning the room, you just don’t think you’re going to win, but I did.”

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