Ladner resident Hugh Greer has taken his years of teaching and other facets of his family life in creating an illuminating and entertaining journey through the evolution of education in British Columbia.
11,000 Days at School: From Class Clown to High School Vice Principal spans 53 years of Greer’s life, from his student days attending kindergarten in the 1950’s to his retirement as a high school vice principal in 2009.
His memoir recounts Greer’s comical, teachable, tragic and unforgettable experiences as a student in the Burnaby School District and educator in the Vancouver School District of British Columbia.
Greer never met his paternal grandfather and by the time he was 14-years-old his remaining three grandparents had passed away. He spent years wishing he had known more about his grandparents, so at age 69 he decided to write a small memoir for his two grandsons. The first “final” draft was 6,000 words. His last final draft was over 92,000 words and is dedicated to his three grandsons.
“Typical of many people of Irish heritage, I love to tell stories,” said Greer. “As a classroom teacher I often digressed from the intended learning outcomes of the lesson and enthusiastically told some story hopefully connected in some way to the topic, but admittedly, not always.”
He said his first attempt at published writing did not challenge him enough to create the parts of narrative writing that he taught to his students.
“I had the benefit of having the plot, setting and characters provided for me by my most entertaining students and my most memorable colleagues,” he added. “To them, I am eternally grateful. My challenge during the writing process was to tell the stories in an enjoyable and entertaining voice. I hope I have done this.”
11,000 Days at School: from class clown to high school vice-principal will be available soon at local book stores, Indigo-Chapters or Amazon.ca.