Social studies teacher Maxwell Greenberg has taught history before, but is new to Brookline High School. He spends a lot of his time traveling to different places around the world, and reading tons of books. Interestingly, Greenberg didn’t always love the subject of history.
Why did you begin teaching at Brookline High School?
I was a teacher for 2 years before I came to Brookline High School, and I wanted to teach in a community that I actually lived in to be a bigger part of the community. I was teaching at a school that was 40 miles away and I live right on the border of Brookline, and I wanted to contribute to a community that I felt more a part of. I was impressed with what Brookline High School was doing in the 9th grade curriculum, moving towards heterogeneous classes, detracking social studies, and that was something that I wanted to be a part of and help get off the ground.
What pulled you into teaching history?
When I was a student myself, school was not necessarily something that I excelled in or really looked forward to, but my history teachers were always able to catch my attention more than any other class, and I saw how you can use history to think about the world around you, and to use historical events to better understand the world that we live in today. I was really drawn to that and the investigative aspect of history and just learning all these different perspectives that go into history. Once I understood that history was not authoritative and rather more of a narrative from different perspectives, I liked it even more and knew that it was something I wanted to study from an early age.
What are your hobbies?
I enjoy cooking and baking. I really enjoy reading non-fiction, listening to podcasts, and I love walking around and looking at some of the cool architecture around here. Basketball is probably my favorite hobby, the thing that I love the most. Outside of teaching I like to play some pick up basketball.
What advice do you have for high school students?
My advice would be to do your best to understand how important this moment in your life really is, but not to stress over it. It’s not the end-all, but it will actually have a lot of influence on the path that you are on. So take this moment in your life seriously but not so seriously that you are anxious and depressed and overworked. Try and strike a balance between things that are important to you and things that actually become important in determining where you’ll end up later in life.