June 22, 2002 - Pasadena Star News: Iran RPCV Floyd Griggs was at school for 32 years

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Iran: Peace Corps Iran : The Peace Corps in Iran: June 22, 2002 - Pasadena Star News: Iran RPCV Floyd Griggs was at school for 32 years

By Admin1 (admin) on Sunday, June 22, 2003 - 1:07 pm: Edit Post

Iran RPCV Floyd Griggs was at school for 32 years

Read and comment on this story from the Pasadena Star News on Iran RPCV Floyd Griggs who is retiring after 32 years at Longden Elementary at:

1413,206~22097~1470320,00.html, Teacher says goodbye to Longden Elementary*

* This link was active on the date it was posted. PCOL is not responsible for broken links which may have changed.

Teacher says goodbye to Longden Elementary
Floyd Griggs was at school for 32 years
By Kevin Felt
Staff Writer

TEMPLE CITY -- Retiring after almost four decades of teaching, Floyd Griggs wants to continue exploring the world.

A sixth-grade teacher at Longden Elementary School for the past 32 years, Griggs is known for encouraging his students to be productive citizens through an innovative yearly project simulating a city and a mock political convention he's spearheaded each presidential election year.

"He's a great guy who is very creative in his teaching,' said Assistant Principal Karen Reed. "The kids really loved being in his classes. I can't even imagine the number of kids whose lives he has touched.'

Colin Walz, a fourth-grade teacher at Longden who taught alongside Griggs for 31 years, called him an innovator.

"But the bottom line was, he really likes and cares for people,' said Walz. "He was always doing hands-on things in his lessons.'

Caption: Floyd Griggs taught with the Peace Corps in Iran for two years in the early 1960s

After teaching with the Peace Corps in Iran for two years in the early 1960s, Griggs taught for five years at Emperor Elementary School before being selected in 1971 to serve as a mentor teacher heading social studies at Longden.

His goal as a teacher, he said, was to positively influence the values of his students by teaching them how to be productive citizens, caretakers of their environment and learners about other cultures and tolerance.

"I think it's important that we impart values, and not just the three Rs,' said Griggs, 61. "Test scores are important, but it's more important that we have quality human beings.'

During the last hour of class of the last two months of each school year, Griggs transformed his classroom into a simulated city - a "Sim-u-town.'

During the project, several students were elected to a city council, which passed laws and ordinances.

Entrepreneurs opened businesses and provided services, such as selling candy or playing video games. Bankers calculated interest on the students' "Sim- u-buck' salaries, which in turn were used to pay bills - by check - for electricity and lighting, property taxes and income taxes.

Bonuses were handed out for good grades on tests and papers.

Fines were levied for late payments and citations given by the sheriff for breaking the rules. If the students wanted to use the restroom or get a drink of water, there was even a charge by the waterworks manager.

"There was a lot of incidental learning,' said Griggs, who called it one of his two favorite times of the year. "It was about a lot of the life skills that are important for young people to know how to do. They were learning how to be a functioning part of society.'

Griggs' other favorite time of the year was in September, when he took about 100 children a year to Catalina for a weeklong field trip.

"There, they learned to appreciate and understand the need to be caretakers of their environment,' he said.

To teach his students about different cultures while discussing ancient civilizations, he often showed slides and shared artifacts gathered from places he had traveled.

"I tried to make history something that you could touch and feel as opposed to just the printed word on the page,' he said. "I loved creating learning situations for them to explore and find out about different cultures.'

Griggs said he will miss being around his students and colleagues, but he's thrilled to leave at the top of his game.

"I must be one of the luckiest teachers alive,' he said. "I know in my heart that I've given it my best shot every day right to the end.

"I haven't just hung on until the fire went out and I was burnt out,' he said. "In all my years, there has never been a day when I didn't look forward to coming to work. I feel really good about that.'

-- Kevin Felt can be reached at (626) 578-6300, Ext. 4454, or by e-mail at kevin.felt@sgvn.com.

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