We should all be lifelong learners


 After 34 years of teaching, Lori Greig bids farewell to Reston School.  Lori was born in Alberta and moved to Reston as a teenager. She graduated from Reston Collegiate in 1981 and moved to Winnipeg to attend the University of Manitoba for three years. “I really liked the Education Faculty there and we got to student teach from the very beginning of my degree,” explained Greig.

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 Lori married Fred Greig before her last year of Education and lived in Virden, and drove everyday to attend Brandon University as a visiting student. “I had to strategically park my car because it had no reverse, so I was glad when I got to student teach in Virden and could walk to school. I went back to U of M to graduate.”

 Lori said that she had always wanted to become a teacher. “I loved school and I loved kids. My dad was a teacher and my mum should have been because she would have been great! Both of my sisters are teachers and my daughter and my daughter-in-law are teachers, so you can imagine there is a lot of “teacher talk” at my house!”

 “I've taught in Virden, Tilston, Hartney, Melita, Sinclair and Reston.  I've taught every grade from K to 6, as well as Reston Nursery School.  I've had many different administrators and I learned something from all of them, but I grew the most as a teacher working with David Gillingham who was principal at Reston Elementary School,” explained Greig. “I have had so many mentors over the years.  Teaching cannot be done without lots of support and I have been lucky to have amazing co-workers.  We learned from each other constantly.  I loved when we challenged each other's thinking and when we shared ideas.  I have many friends who are teachers and poor Fred has had to put up with lots of "teacher talk" over the years.  I was always involved in PD in our school division and I tried to participate in professional development as much as I could.  Often I paid for it myself but appreciated the opportunities.  I think we should all be lifelong learners.”

 Lori said that she has had so many term teaching jobs in Reston, that she couldn't even count them all.  “They were often jobs I got because of something bad that had happened to another teacher, so although I appreciated the opportunity to teach I was always concerned for the person I was covering for.”  She received a permanent contract 17 years ago.                                                                                                       “ I taught all three of our kids and I really enjoyed that unique experience.  I'm not sure they would say the same!” said Greig. “ The biggest changes I have observed in the last 34 years are with technology and the way we teach math.  I initiated Technology Nights and Numeracy Nights to help parents understand the changes since they went to school.  Fort La Bosse provided me with lots of PD in both of these areas, which was a lot of work but definitely worth it.  I have noticed huge growth in students in both areas.”

 When asked if she could live her life over, would change anything? Lori stated, “I would definitely be a teacher.  The roles I am most proud of in my life are being a teacher and a mum.  They have been extremely rewarding. I love when students come back to visit me!  One of the things that I have really enjoyed besides the relationships I have made with the students I have taught is the student teachers that have been in my classroom.  I have found their energy and enthusiasm contagious and I learned as much from them as they learned from me.  I keep in touch with many of them.”

 Lori has often regretted that her profession is under appreciated. Teachers receive more criticism than compliments. She wishes that home and school could work together more since they both want what is best for their kids. 

 “I have been married for 35 years to Fred Greig. We work together at Avondale Seed Farm.  I love the fact that it is a family farm and it takes all of us working together to run it.  My daughter, Stephanie and son-in-law, Jordan both work on the farm and my son, Cam came back to the farm a year ago.  Although Allison and Jordan are busy teaching they help a lot with meals during busy seasons.  Fred and I began farming with my Mum and Dad and my Dad still comes out to help us.”

 Right now, Lori plans on taking life one day at a time.  She has always believed that when one door closes another one opens, and no one knows what the future holds.  “We love to travel so hopefully a trip will be in our near future.  There is no shortage of work on the farm and I will be glad to spend extra time with my family.  Being a Grandma is my new favourite role and I can't get enough time with Isla, Knox and Sutton!”

  Lori says she’ll be crying tears of sadness and happiness on the last day of school. She is a big Blue Bomber’s fan and has plans to take off and attend a game right from school. “I have many mixed feelings about retiring.  On the last day of school I'll probably still be surrounded by boxes and boxes of school stuff that I don't know what to do with!”

 We wish Lori well for a long and rewarding retirement.

© Reston Recorder