The more you know: Kathleen Walter

by Lilian Kim, Staff Writer

Welcome to The More You Know where you can find out some interesting facts about teachers around Glen Rock’s education. January kicks off the second interview in the new series. In this edition, get to know Kathleen Walter from the History Department!

Question: What is your background? Any siblings? Parents’ professions?

Grew up in Fairlawn, older brother and younger sister, middle child. Father was an insurance lawyer, mother was a nurse.

Question: When did you develop an interest in History? How were you inspired into becoming a teacher? Any other professions you considered prior?

My father was a history fanatic. I studied History and Political science. Originally I wanted to work in government, so I did an internship at the Boston State House. After that I realized that it wasn’t fit for me, so I went towards teaching. My aunt is also a teacher.

Question: What college did you go to?

I went to the University of Massachusetts.

Question: How many years have you taught in Glen Rock? Did you teach at any other schools before teaching here?

I used to teach and coach at Old Pam, Westwood for a leave for one year, and West Milford for a few years. I’ve taught here for so long I had Mr. Fox as a student. I’ve taught at Glen Rock for 15 years.

Question: What is your favorite topic to teach in History?

I teach U.S. History II and AP Human Geography. In terms of my favorite topic, it changes from time to time, depending on the topic of the book I’m reading. Whatever is new.

Question: To you, which subject do you find the most important students learn about and why?

Honestly, I hope that students learn research and analytical skills rather than learning the topic. Understand that impact rather than the topic. Know all sides of the story.

Question: It’s never fun working with a difficult student, how do you deal with them?

Difficult students are difficult for different reasons. I like to find out the reasons for why they are causing disruptive behavior. I look for the cause of the problem.

Question: Outside of teaching, do you have any particular activities you like doing?

There’s two worlds for me. History and sports. I’m actually the borough historian at Glen Rock, I help run the museum in Glen Rock. Lovely group of people in the historical society. I coach volleyball, I run, and I used to do track. Always loved sports since I was a kid.

Question: Any fun facts about yourself that not many people know about you?

I like telling jokes.

I was born on August 6, the day Hiroshima was bombed.

My mom was born on the day July 16, the day of the first detonation of a nuclear weapon. My family is [very] much a nuclear family. Fun fact, my favorite state is New Jersey. Any incident in American History, I can always bring back to New Jersey. Everything great comes from New Jersey.

Question: What is your biggest tip to those who want to become teachers in the future?

Always lead with compassion. Always remember the mindset of 16 going on 17. Understand the audience, have compassion for them. Have passion for teaching if you want it, [it is] both joyful and heartbreaking.