By Yoos, Cam on June 8, 2020.
A life-long Winston Churchill High School teacher will be completing his extensive teaching career as he moves on to enjoy free time during his retirement.
Greg Wolcott has worked as an English and drama teacher at Winston Churchill for 44 years, and after working with thousands of students, he can’t help but feel lucky for the opportunity to work at Winston Churchill High School.
“It was one of those lucky things to start at Churchill,” says Wolcott. “I graduated with an English degree and I am not too sure where my desire for teaching came from, but I wanted to teach and lucked out with Lethbridge and started with Winston Churchill and stayed and in that time I roughly taught between five and six thousand students.”
Throughout his time, Wolcott directed nearly 100 productions with dozens to hundreds of students at a time, exploring all forms of production from one-act plays, to musicals and alternative productions.
“I taught drama, so I directed 95 plays at Churchill and that was certainly a highlight, I also taught in the International Baccalaurean Program and that was also very enjoyable,” says Wolcott. “The productions I liked the most were probably the more non-traditional ones. We did a lot of one-act plays, and many large productions as well, but I liked ‘A Midsummers Night Dream’, I did a musical called ‘Honk’, and one year another teacher, Morgan Day, and I directed a neat show called ‘Louder Than Words’, where the show had no spoken word in it and they told a story to music but it wasn’t a dance piece and that one was really enjoyable.”
During his every day work, Wolcott most enjoyed the open discussions of literature within his English classes, as well as spending hours of dedicated time with students after school working on productions.
“I love teaching my English classes, I loved the open discussions,” says Wolcott. “I loved going to rehearsal at the end of the day because all of the productions were done outside of class time, and they were not for credits so kids were really doing it on their own time and wanted to be there. It wasn’t a class but I really enjoyed working with the kids after school.”
Although COVID-19 brought in a different reality for Wolcott and every other teacher around the world, he can’t help but feel for those teachers and students who will have to work through this and other tough situations that may come to them in the near future.
“It is disappointing to finish this way. The teachers are disappointed, students are disappointed, I feel very bad for the Grade 12s with their graduation and not being able to have that,” says Wolcott.
Within weeks of his retirement, Wolcott’s retirement plans have been postponed to a future date, as his plans have been prevented for now. Until then, he says he is going to enjoy the free time and see what life can bring him.
“Certainly plans have changed, I had planned to do some travelling and such, so it will just be getting used to free time,” says Wolcott. “Teachers are regimented, at 8 o’clock the bell rings and you have to be there, so I think it will be just getting used to a lack of schedule, and I am looking forward to that in many ways, but I will be spending my time as I wish to spend it.”
After 44 years of dedicated work with thousands of students, Greg Wolcott’s time at Winston Churchill High School isn’t going unrecognized as he has helped develop the minds of community members as well as help grown the strong community of Winston Churchill High School.
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