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Future teacher goes the extra mile

Although he’s still looking for his first teaching job, Joshua Gregory has already helped shaped the lives of many children. During much of his time as an undergraduate at Broome Community College and Binghamton University, and as a graduate student in the School of Education, Gregory worked as director of the after-school program at the Boys and Girls Club of Western Broome in Endicott.

“I was sort of the principal,” said Gregory, who graduates this spring with a master’s degree in childhood education. Among many other things, that made him chief disciplinarian. “You didn’t want to get sent to my office,” he said with a laugh.
Gregory, 25, also has served for the past four years as a team manager and board member for the Southern Tier Challenger Little League, a baseball league for children with intellectual and physical disabilities.

A native of the Binghamton area, Gregory has a 3.9 GPA and belongs to Kappa Delta Pi, the international honor society in education. His student teaching took him to a first-grade class in the Union-Endicott school district and a fifth-grade class in Johnson City, each offering particular joys.

The first-graders greeted him with hugs. “They’re so excited to learn,” Gregory said. “There’s this energy of wanting to read, and all these new experiences. It was really hard for me to leave them.”

Fifth grade brought opportunities for complex discussions, such as the time when a lesson on ecology took an unexpected turn. “We ended up talking about homelessness,” Gregory said. “It was a great teachable moment.”

Jenny Gordon, assistant professor of education, calls Gregory a warm, nurturing teacher who puts a premium on his relationships with students. He has an intuitive sense of which kids need him most.

“He absolutely goes out of his way to seek out those kids,” she said, “giving them just a little bit extra.”

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Last Updated: 10/14/08