Inside the Classroom of Eddie Walsh: Teacher of the Year

Eddie Walsh is a man of many accolades.

Entering his tenth year of teaching, he leads his classroom confidently and has a love for learning that becomes instilled in all his students. 

It’s clear these talents do not go unnoticed, as Mr.Walsh was just named Tennessee Charter’s Teacher of the Year! This is a huge honor for him as he celebrates a decade in education and for his school, Grizzlies Prep.

Grizzlies Prep is an all-boys charter school in downtown Memphis that educates young men in grades 6th-8th. Grizzlies Prep prepares all students to excel academically and demonstrate integrity. 

“The Grizz Prep staff is unified in the vision of preparing these young men to feel confident in the future and works to support each other in any way needed,” Walsh tells us. “It’s one of the factors that motivates me in the classroom.” 

Another factor is the genuine curiosity that stems from his students and his feeling that his role as a history teacher is especially important. 

“I feel my role as a history teacher is important considering the recent trend of politics impacting what parts of our past are taught,” Walsh states.

Walsh enters the classroom with a commitment to teaching his students the truth about American history, so they become critical thinkers and civically active students. 

In Walsh’s class, it’s not just about memorizing facts.

His students participate in a variety of history-related activities that enrich their minds.

You’ll see an article or DBQ (document-based question) in his class every day from Stanford History Education Group, NewsELA, ActivelyLearn, USHistory.org, and the Zinn Education Project.

Alongside a history degree, Walsh spends time reading about history, watching historical content, and playing history-related games.

Simply put, the man never stops learning.

Mr.Walsh dressed as Abraham Lincoln!
“I believe a good teacher needs to be a dork about their subject, and I adhere to that belief. My walls are plastered in content-specific posters, and I am constantly probing kids to make connections between our content and the contemporary world.”
- Eddie Walsh

When asked what kind of educator Walsh strives to be, he says he does not want to become complacent, ineffective, or not joyful anymore. 

He credits his undergrad at the University of Illinois and Teach for America-Memphis for giving him a strong foundation in education. 

TFA Memphis helped Walsh understand the why behind this work and that students deserve exceptional educators in their classroom, regardless of their zip code. 

Educators may struggle to excel if they don’t have a positive support system.

“Grizzlies Prep has a clear vision of what kind of impact they want to have and creates effective strategies to support teachers and students alike,” Walsh expressed.

“There is no teaching on an island in our school. Whether it’s administration, teachers, culture staff, or ops staff, we’re all on the same page for expectations, procedures, and incentives.” 

It’s no secret that Memphis tends to lag behind others in academic achievement, demonstrating the importance of teachers’ roles.

“Educators should teach in Memphis because of the potential to impact the achievement gap.”

-Eddie Walsh

Walsh is not just versed in the classroom. He also started the aquatics program at Grizzlies Prep! 

The program offers swim lessons, a competitive swim season, water polo, and lifeguard employment opportunities for Grizz Prep Alumni.  

Students involved in the aquatic program gain life-saving skills and exposure to aquatic recreational activities. 

GP Brothers in Aquatics w Coach Walsh!

If you’re interested in volunteering to become a part-time coach or teaching swimming lessons, contact Mr.Walsh

Walsh’s love for the water continues after hours as well. He runs an adult co-ed water polo club for Memphis called the Bluff City Water Polo. If you’d like to learn more or get involved, click here. 

Congratulations to Mr.Walsh on Teacher of The Year, and thank you for all you do for the city of Memphis! 

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