Teacher of the Month: Langham educator Andi Gregory shares early inspiration

Published 12:40 am Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Before she left Taft Elementary in Groves, Andi Gregory knew she wanted to be a teacher. 

In first and second grade, she struggled with reading. But she didn’t know that at the time.

“They both made me feel I could do anything,” she said of her two teachers. “I loved, loved, loved going to school. It was my home away from home, and I wanted to be that for every child.”

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And this week Gregory, who has been teaching kindergarten at Langham Elementary in Nederland for 16 years, was named the March Teacher of the Month sponsored by Philpott Motors. The honor came with a $500 gift card, and an automatic entry into the Teacher of the Year contest. 

“This recognition could not go to a more deserving individual than Andi Gregory,” said Langham Principal Toby Latiolais. “Mrs. Gregory is a vital member of our incredible kindergarten team. She contributes to our campus in many different ways and is always willing to do whatever she can to make Langham the best that it can be.” 

Gregory says the same about the school. 

“I joke and say I can retire in three more years, but I honestly will probably teach until I can’t teach anymore,” she said. “I love the people. It’s a wonderful school and a wonderful district. The support is just amazing.” 

Gregory said two of her favorite activities to do with her students are reading and math, the latter because it involves a lot of hands-on activities children find fun. 

“They’re little sponges,” she said. “They soak up everything. They are so sweet and so happy. They really do love each other.” 

It’s something she tells them at the beginning of each school year — they are family. 

“We lift each other up and give lots of words of affirmation. It’s hard for them to write affirmations, but you can always hear them saying, ‘good job,’ or ‘try again, you can do it.’” 

Latiolais agrees. 

“Her classroom is extremely well run,” he said. “Her students know the expectations she has for them. They also know that they are going to have fun while achieving those expectations. Above all, they know how much Mrs. Gregory loves and cares for each one of them.”

Philpott Motors General Manager Daren Granger hands Andi Gregory a gift card for $500. (Monique Batson/The News)

Recently the class read “Not a Box” by Antoinette Portis. The award-winning teacher’s book centers around a rabbit that uses imagination to turn a cardboard box into a multitude of things.

It’s something Gregory’s students will be doing too. In the room is a cardboard box, and soon they will unveil what it is in their imagination. 

“They might not remember the ‘Not a Box’ book, but they will remember what we did with it,” she said. 

Gregory enjoys dancing and laughing with the students and ensuring they want to return to school each day. 

“I had some years where I didn’t have a good teacher, and that made me want to be a teacher, too, because I didn’t want to do what they did,” she said. “The day they stop loving school is the day I’ll stop teaching.” 

But that day certainly didn’t come this week. After she was surprised in her class with the Teacher of the Month award, Gregory’s legs were surrounded by students as they ran up to their teacher to hug her and tell her “congratulations.”