Greg Wimmer: A mission to be a better teacher

Greg Wimmer and two other teachers started the Apollo program at Central York High School, helping students learn outside of the “sit and get” approach.

Presented by: Our York Media
Written by: Anthony Machcinski
Greg Wimmer (Photo by Caleb Robertson/Our York Media)

Greg Wimmer was a sophomore in college studying political science when he felt like his talents weren’t being used correctly.

He wanted to be a part of something that changed the negative discourse the world of politics brings. That’s when he decided to become a teacher.

“I liked the idea that I could help inform children and work with them to become better citizens,” Greg says. “I wanted to find a way to work with students to understand other cultures so that, hopefully, we would be able to make change someday, rather than just adding to the runaround.”

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Today, Greg and other teachers from Central York High School are part of the school’s Apollo program.

The program – named after the Greek god and with allusions to NASA’s Apollo program – started in 2015 linking art, English and social studies into a single program.

We as teachers have to constantly be thinking about what could be better. That’s my personal mission.

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Greg Wimmer

The course isn’t content based and lets the student pick topics of interest. Students workshop ideas with their peers in small groups before it’s proposed to the teacher. The projects require multiple pieces across all three subjects and finish with a conversation with the teacher.

“We as teachers have to constantly be thinking about what could be better,” Greg says. “That’s my personal mission.”

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The program is about bringing education to the 21st century. Doing things differently when Greg was in school meant watching videos on Fridays. He says this is a different reality.

“If we think about how we learn as adults in today’s day and age – Googling a recipe or YouTubing how to fix a pipe in your house – it’s on-demand education,” Greg says. “We want to make that translatable and layer it to be academic, engaging and purposeful.”

It’s more than modernizing education. He’s making the change he’s wanted to see in the world.

“Working with kids on a much more intimate basis, we get to have extended conversations that can make a big difference for a kid that other teachers don’t typically have time for,” Greg says. “By working with children, we can hopefully stymie some of the prejudices, quell misunderstandings, and send them into a world understanding others better.”

View the work: To sample some of the work created by students in the Apollo program, visit theapolloschool.weebly.com. 

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