To look at Hettie Halstead Elementary fifth-grade science teacher Nicole Green, you’d never know she was bullied as a child.
The Army wife and popular schoolteacher is upbeat, full of life and always has a read smile. In fact, being bullying as a child is the motivation behind the book she’s writing.
Advocating against bullying and telling her story through a children’s book are important goals, Green said.
“Bullying in school isn’t okay,” she said. “The pain I suffered as a child made me the advocate I am today. I want kids to learn that though people can be cruel, they can overcome it.”
Green is the daughter of a 41-year special education teacher who she said is her role model and the reason she wanted to become a teacher.
Loves her students
The reason she’s stayed a teacher despite academic excellence in art is the same as her mother — she loves her kids.
The 28-year-old teacher listens and learns from them as well. That’s also how Hettie Halstead Elementary came up with its first-ever STAAR weekend camp this year.
“The kids and I were talking one day about my years as a summer camp counselor and they thought it was so cool, but many didn’t think they’d get to go to camp,” Green said. “I pitched the idea to start a Saturday camp to help prepare them for the STAAR tests and with the school’s help my tiny vision became a reality.”
Green is the wife of a Fort Hood soldier, Sgt. TreVaughn Green, who has been her best friend since eighth grade, she said.
He is currently deployed and is expected home in May. Their 2-year-old daughter, Aryana, is the reigning Tiny Miss Fort Hood and Wee Miss Central Texas winner.
Thanks from parent
Outside of being a mom and wife, Nicole Green said one of her biggest accomplishments as a teacher came recently when a parent sent her an e-mail about a student she taught last year.
The parent told Green she’s the reason her son loves science and that he has nothing but 100s at his middle school in advanced science.
“That made me cry,” Green said.
Despite being bullied, she received a science academic excellence award, had a 105 average that year, earned an academic excellence award from President Bush and was a varsity cheerleader.
She interned with NASA her junior year in college and went to the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.
“I had a chance right out of high school to draw for Disney but turned it down for college,” Green said. “I love art and to draw, but teaching and impacting children is my passion.”
Green earned a master’s degree in early childhood education from Columbus State University and hopes to return to school next year to pursue her doctorate.
More importantly, she wants students to know they can do anything and be anything they want, she said.
“I want to make a difference. If I do that in one child’s life, then I have fulfilled my purpose here on this earth.”