Loving Teachers & Loving Schools

A Tribute to Jim Giroux: A Loving and Master Teacher

On the Occasion of Jim's Retirement Party
Celebrating 37 Years of Spirited Service to the Children and Families of Glastonbury

Presented by Dr. Linda Ball,
Former Director of Mathematics,
Glastonbury Public Schools

What a delight to be here to honor Jim – one of the greatest teachers and dearest guys in the world. For those youngsters in the crowd who do not know me, I was the Director of Mathematics and had the pleasure of working with Jim for over 30 years. Jim Giroux was one of the most outstanding teachers I ever had the pleasure to work with. He always took his teaching seriously, never losing sight of his goal to have every child love learning. His goals were serious but his methods reflected the humor and zest for life that he shared with everyone.

I always looked forward to observing Jim. When he was teaching 4th grade at Hopewell he always had a hot cup of coffee waiting for me at his desk. (A lesson for scoring points with your supervisor.) Then I had the opportunity to sit back and watch how math should be taught by a master teacher. I never felt like I was Jim’s supervisor because I was the one learning from him. One memorable visit was the lesson he did on probability. It was filled with excitement and solid mathematics. He talked about the state lottery, discussed how one might figure what the chances were in a given situation and then proceeded to totally involve the kids with experimental probability, drawing colored cubes out of a bag, rolling dice, …. you name it. It was such a great lesson that I called him a few days later and asked him if he would do a grade 4 in-service, using the exact lesson I had just seen. He said sure but insisted I pay him in quarters and set up a field trip to Foxwoods.

When Jim asked me about teaching math at the middle school I knew that Hopewell’s loss would be Gideon’s gain. Early in his first fall there, Jim got the kind of assignment only he could handle and laugh about. He had to find something for a very special group of students to do while the rest of the school was being tested. Jim decided to take them out for a game of soft ball. Needless to say, you can imagine how special this group was..... Actually things were going quite well until one of the kids decided to slide into home. Unfortunately they were playing on macadam and the results were not pretty.

The one word that epitomizes Jim’s very being is JOY. He exudes it and he brings it out in others. I have never known anyone so adept at finding something good in everything and everybody. His lust for life is infectious --- his students catch it and the lucky adults catch it as well. What great fun on the Hopewell playground or driveway as so many 4th and 5th graders played street hockey with Jimmy, Jim Lyons and Ed Litwin - his golf games, the fabulous weeks at Lake Winnipesaukee with Barb and the kids (along with a cast of thousands from Barbs family), his weekends at the Rhode Island shore - the list goes on and on and whenever he talks about any of these times his eyes light up and that boyish grin fills his face.

Loving his job, his family and life as he does, I can only imagine the great times that lie ahead. I am just hoping I get a call to play nine holes, go for a beer and hear about the amazing life of this remarkable friend.

Thank you Jim – from all of us who had the pleasure of working and playing with you and for the thousands of kids you have touched with your teaching.

                     thanks2teacher: JIM GIROUX