While her retirement from a career in public schools offers a little more flexibility to travel with her husband, Greta K. Smith hasn't left being an educator behind. Today, she's an adjunct lecturer at Saint Rose and the College's supervisor for student teachers.
Greta K. Smith, who earned her master’s in special education at Saint Rose, returned to Saint Rose in 1998 to teach. She is currently an adjunct lecturer and the college supervisor for student teachers.
What do you in a typical day?
I have been retired since 2004 from public school, where I was a special-education teacher and administrator. In that time, I have done consulting work at several school districts and have continued teaching at Saint Rose.
There is no typical day in retirement. We travel and visit family and interesting places. When we are at home, we work around our home or spend time with our grandchildren. I’m usually at my computer a few hours a day preparing for my classes or doing other work.
How did you find your career path?
I have wanted to be a teacher since third grade, when I was inspired by my teacher to be like her!
I did undergrad work in elementary education, and focused on gifted and talented students. At that time, there was a shortage of teaching positions, but I was hired to teach a self-contained special education classroom in a trailer in a field behind the gymnasium.
I loved working with my students, and I was told by my school district to go to The College of Saint Rose to get my master’s degree because Saint Rose was the best place to learn how to be a special educator!
What do you do for fun?
We have a motorhome, and we like to travel. We have Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, and we show them at dog shows all over the Northeast. We frequently take the dogs in the motorhome and go to weeklong dog shows.
We have met many wonderful friends through our dogs, and training, grooming, and showing dogs keeps us busy.
What do you like the most about Saint Rose?
Saint Rose has always been so welcoming and has been a wonderful place to learn and teach. It has always impressed me that, no matter where you go on campus, people smile and greet each other. As an instructor for over 20 years, I have met the most wonderful students and had the privilege of working and collaborating with the best colleagues.
The atmosphere on campus is so friendly and conducive to learning and teaching.
Why should alums continue to engage with their alma mater?
For me, it is about giving back. I have had a long career with many wonderful experiences, and I have learned so much about the field of special education. It is important to me to pay it forward, as they say, to share my knowledge with aspiring educators.
My third-grade teacher inspired me to be the best teacher I could possibly be, and I want to encourage my students to excel and go into teaching to make a difference with their students. Because Saint Rose is my alma mater, it is the right place for me to be to continue my journey as a lifelong learner.
By Irene Kim