Renee Grinder: From Hutchison Parent to Kindergarten Teacher

Meet Renee Grinder, who has been a kindergarten teacher at Hutchison for four years. Before she had her own classroom, she served as an assistant in pre-kindergarten for two years and a substitute teacher for two years. Her experiences as a parent inspired her to come back to the classroom at Hutchison.
Editor's Note: Answers have been shortened and edited for clarity and conciseness.

What is your favorite concept and/or lesson to teach? 

I love to teach writing. I see tremendous growth from the beginning of the school year to the end. The girls gain more confidence and love to express themselves in their own writing. Girls can be so imaginative and this comes out in their writing! To see them successfully turn their thoughts into a piece of work is the best! 

How do you keep current with the subject area(s) you cover and apply the latest learning research?

I take summer classes often. Last summer, I took a SMILA (Simultaneous Multisensory Institute of Language Arts) class, and I learned so much. My girls look forward every day to our phonics and phonemic awareness time. I also follow other kindergarten teachers on social media, which is a great way to get ideas.

What do you want a student to learn from having known you?

I would like them to know that learning can be fun, and we can accomplish so much more by working together. I also always tell my girls, "Treat others the way you want to be treated."

How do you get the results you want each student to achieve? 

Positivity and a loving environment. I want my students to know that I love them, and I am always here for them even after they have left kindergarten. I love their hugs!

What inspired you to become a teacher at Hutchison? 

I loved the environment and how my two girls (Madison ’19 and Elizabeth ’21), came home every day loving their school and teachers. It made me want to be a part of that! I watched my girls thrive and graduate from Hutchison, and now I am teaching my kindergarten girls and watching them flourish and excel.

What do you like about being at Hutchison? 

My co-workers and staff are the most amazing part of being at Hutchison. Everyone loves their job and I truly feel blessed to be a part of this wonderful school and community.

Describe your career experience. What are you most proud of?

I taught in Atlanta and Shelby County after graduating from college. Before coming to Hutchison, I taught junior kindergarten at a preschool twice a week. I was an assistant in pre-kindergarten for a few years, and I always wanted to teach a classroom of my own students. So to be able to work at Hutchison and have my own class while my daughters were attending Hutchison was a big accomplishment for me.

What are your favorite moments with a student? 

Every day! My students always amaze me every day.
 
What interests you outside the classroom? What are you personally passionate about? 

I love to exercise and my husband and I love to visit our girls at their colleges.

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Hutchison is the leading private girls school in Memphis for ages 2 years old through twelfth grade.