When Nancy Goud became a teacher in 1961, the United States
was dealing with civil unrest. So when she landed her first-year teaching
assignment at an all African-American school in Lansing, Mich., during the
height of the race riots, Goud and her parents were nervous.
be the teacher that I think I am if I don’t take this job,’” she recalled.
students and the families.
save the world. I really did,” she said. “I became very active in the Civil
Rights Movement. Our school was fantastic. The parents in Lansing wanted their
kids to get an education. They respected us … the teachers were very highly
respected. It was fun. … But it was a government funded school and they closed
it after two years, then I got married and moved here (Indianapolis).”
requested to teach in the inner cities of Indianapolis. That request was
initially met with raised eyebrows. After stints at a couple of IPS schools,
she was relocated to Minnie Hartmann School 78 where she taught for 30 years,
until it closed.
everything,” said Goud, about her time in Lansing and why she loves teaching in
the inner city. Now, with the growth of the Hispanic population in urban
schools, she’s learning more about that culture, too.
person,” she said.
IPS district, and she’s still educating children in the inner city. Each
morning for the past seven years, Goud greets her first-grade students at Thomas D. Gregg School 15 with a
any school, said Thomas D. Gregg Interim Principal Ross Pippin.
large part to her seniority. Colleagues can’t help but respect Mrs. Goud for
her years of experience and have been known to bounce ideas off of her,” said
Pippin. “It is not uncommon for Mrs. Goud to take new teachers under her wing
and aid in their growth in the first couple of years.”
to her willingness to embrace new and innovative teaching methods.
overhead projectors, worksheets or social media. She and her colleagues wrote
all of their assignments on the blackboard (often three days’ worth at a time);
communication with parents was via house visits; all parents attended school
meetings; and paddling errant children was an acceptable form of discipline.
methods, Goud is not afraid to learn new skills and techniques. However, she admits
to incorporating tried and true methods every now and then, “because they still
because she knows that children don’t all learn the same way or at the same
have a few Pontiacs and Buicks mixed in there,’” said Goud, a native of
Saginaw, Mich., with a chuckle. “I am willing to learn (a new method) and see
if it works. … You just might really like it, but you’re not going to know if
you just close the door.”
adopt new initiatives and evolve with the times. “Having veteran teachers in
the building setting this type of example is irreplaceable.”
was heightened as a little girl while watching (President Dwight D.) Eisenhower
on TV host his first-grade teacher at the White House — is not going to let a
newfangled thing like technology get in the way of teaching her students.
young people in this building are wonderful and really help me a lot,” said Goud.
computers … sometimes. She receives helps with the computers in her room from some
of her youngest students. “It’s amazing to me. I have two little boys who can
fix the computers in the room,” she said. “(Them being able to teach me) makes
them feel good. … What I try to teach them, too, is that you never stop
teaching methods and mentor younger teachers, she’s always the first to take on
children who are seen as a challenge. Although she believes she’s “strict,”
students at Thomas D. Gregg come to her even when they get into trouble with other
teachers at the school.
structured environment because I’m structured, and you always start over with
me,” said Goud. “I don’t hold a grudge and they know that. If you got in
trouble today, you start over again tomorrow, and for some reason they pick
students. Maybe it’s trying to figure out how to reach them,” she said. “What
can we do to help them out because a lot of times, nobody wants them and that’s
all they’ve experienced. So, if we can come up with a plan that helps them,
that to me is worth it. … It might be that they need a hug, or they need to
count to 10 or sit by me.”
most difficult of students.
are critical in dealing with challenging students and because Mrs. Goud sticks
to this prescription, she prevails in reaching these particular students,” he
said. “She believes in children and treats each day as a new chance to succeed.
It is well known that if a child in her room needs to be retained, she prefers
to have them in her own room a second time to carry on where they left off.
This pattern further displays her willingness to keep after students who need
few years off to have children —Goud knows that she can’t actually stay in the classroom
forever. But she will definitely try. For now, she’s relishing her time with
her students and the staff at Thomas D. Gregg, and being the oldest teacher
teaching. It makes me feel like I’ve really accomplished something.”