Joe Glessner, Fourth Grade Teacher

We’re introducing you to our TCS teachers! So far, you’ve met ToddKatieSallyKellyKelley,  MichelleLuciusJuliaPaul, and Michele Smith.

Today, we’re introducing you to Joe Glessner, fourth-grade teacher!

Joe has been teaching for 14 years with 12 of those years right here at TCS. Before TCS, he taught kindergarten and second grade at McGinnis Ferry Country Day School.

What skills do you hope your students will learn by the time they leave your classroom?
I hope my students see the skills they are learning are applicable in the real world. Social entrepreneurship and economics come to mind. With so many successful young entrepreneurs in the world these days, there is a lot to be inspired about. Kids are diving into what was once adult-only territory with fundraising and social awareness. My hope is our students leave with a sense that they can be an agent for change in their community and the larger world stage.

How are you preparing them to learn these skills?
Our economics PBL (project-based learning) unit teaches them how to identify successful charities that commit the large portion of their profits to a cause. Students learn all the stages of starting a company and running it. They are part of each step of the process. From creating the business plan, maintaining a budget, marketing, and production of a product.

What about teaching makes you excited to come to school every day?
Every day is different. I have never experienced the same day twice in all my years teaching. Also seeing the smiling faces of the kids around campus makes my job very gratifying.

Tell us about one of the most rewarding moments in your teaching career.
A year ago, two students we taught came back to visit. They wanted to share that they were planning to backpack Europe during the summer before going to college. To see them having grown into such intelligent young men made it all come full circle for me. The fact that they took time off to share the experience they were embarking on with me, made me feel important to have been part of their development.

If you could meet anyone, who would it be?
The Dali Lama. The chance to just sit and talk with him would be amazing. I have had a chance to see him speak at Emory and it was life-changing, to say the least.

What is something none of your students know about you?
When choosing professions after the military, it was between teaching and being a chef. I still love to cook, though!