Andy Grossman is in his third year at Caliber, and has been teaching for 15 years total. He is a constant presence on campus at Caliber Beta Academy; he seems to be everywhere at once! Andy always has a smile on his face, loves our students to no end, and is incredibly committed to the Caliber model, heart, and soul. We are so lucky to have Andy Grossman as a leader of this team.
Words about Andy from his coworkers:
"Andy has become almost inseparable from the culture of Caliber: Beta. Every time he enters a classroom, there are students excited to see him, and curious to see what he will add to the environment. He has joyfully led the school in assemblies, risen the bar of the teaching practice, and worked hard to make us all more grateful to be a fire breathing, book reading Caliber Dragon alongside him."
"Andy lives and breathes the SMART pillar and our professional ethics. He challenges us all to be better and do better because our kids deserve that from us. He has superhero capacity and is everywhere at once, usually voice to texting as he goes. I have learned so much about leadership from working with Andy."
"Andy is an inspiration and a force of nature. Every day he brings a deep love and care for the community that he expresses through being willing to do whatever it takes to make Caliber: Beta the best school possible. There are many, many stories that exemplify his leadership and our values. For months last year he drove students back and forth to school each day just so that they could continue to attend our school. He rises and roars each day. I feel blessed to be able to work alongside such a Dragon!"
A recent interview with Andy:
What is your favorite thing about working at Caliber?
The sense of community and commitment. The feeling that we are all committed to pulling in the same direction and doing what is best for kids. We ask each other hard questions, we push our practice rather than just accepting what is status quo and we do it in the name of figuring out how to best serve our kids and their families.
And I am going to cheat and give a second thing... which is obviously the kids. I have been in education for 15 years and I have never been at a school where I get so many hugs, smiles, good mornings and just general love from kids. This really is a special community of students and I am thankful for every day I get to spend with them.
What was your favorite subject when you were in school and why?
I am going to answer with the opposite and explain my least favorite, which was math! Which ironically is now my favorite to teach and work with teachers on. I felt like I was always just being asked to memorize rules and it didn't matter if I understood why those rules worked. Now I love helping kids understand the reasons behind the numbers and getting to see the light bulb go off in their head when they understand why their answer makes sense.
I also love teaching and singing math songs. Feel free to ask me to sing one for you sometime.
What is your favorite memory associated with music?
Besides math songs?
I once met Ice Cube outside a club in Barcelona. We may or may not have beat boxed together.
If you could go on a dream vacation, what would you do + where would you go?
It's mostly who I would go with, which is my wife, Christi, who I love to go anywhere with.
What is your favorite thing about the Bay Area (or specifically about Richmond!)?
Living in Oakland for the last 17 years, I can truly say there is really is no place like the bay. It is such a beautiful place. I find myself stuck in traffic on my way home from work and instead of being annoyed, I look out my window at the sun setting behind the Golden Gate Bridge and I think to myself, man am I lucky to be here.
I also love and feel lucky to be living in a place with so many different people from different cultures. I can walk down the street and hear multiple languages being spoken, smell food from anywhere in the world and meet people with so many amazing ideas and perspectives who teach me things that help me be a better version of myself.
What is one fun fact that most people don't know about you?
I thought the Ice Cube one was pretty obscure... ok, let me see... this summer Christi and I went on a backpacking trip where we were dropped off in the wilderness by a bush plane and then picked up 3 days later. We managed to survive all while crossing over a glacier on foot by ourselves, fording the coldest river I have ever been in and sliding about a thousand feet down a the side of a mountain on our behinds because it was way to steep to even attempt to walk down.
Andy is amazing. Say hi and get to know him when you come visit Caliber Beta Academy!