Elizabeth Green is co-founder, CEO, and editor-in-chief of Chalkbeat, a nonprofit education news organization. She is also the author of Building a Better Teacher How Teaching Works (and How to Teach It to Everyone). Before participating in a discussion of what it takes to make a great teacher, she talked about popcorn and ice cream, her lack of nicknames, and why her refrigerator is like a “living Instagram” in the Zócalo green room.
What superpower would you most like to have?
I really like—this is bad—eavesdropping, so I would like to read minds and make it a little bit more efficient to eavesdrop.
What’s your worst habit?
There’s a really incredible artisanal ice cream place near my apartment that is definitely my guilty pleasure called Van Leeuwen. They have amazing vegan ice cream.
What teacher or professor changed your life, if any?
Many. John Mathwin was my high school journalism teacher, and he introduced me to journalism and the idea that journalism can be a part of social progress.
What surprises you most about your life right now?
I kind of look forward to being on airplanes even though I’m not really enjoying all the travel I’m doing. But I still look forward to being on the plane and having some solitary time, even in an uncomfortable space.
Did you have any nicknames as a kid?
No. I hate nicknames. Because my name is very susceptible to nicknames, but nicknames that are completely unrelated to my actual name. So I was and am pretty zealous about being Elizabeth.
What’s hanging on your refrigerator?
A friend of mine calls my refrigerator a living Instagram because my fiancé has so many odd articles and photos on there. One of them is an article with the headline, “Scent of women’s tears dulls men’s arousal.”
How do you procrastinate?
If I’m writing, I just read really good writing that I’ll never be able to imitate.
What relaxes you?
The Mindy Project.
What’s the last live event or performance you attended?
I went to an event series called The Nantucket Project in Nantucket, and one of the speakers was the founder of TED. It was funny because he was talking about the founding of TED at an event that was created in the image of TED.
What’s your favorite movie snack?
Popcorn. I like that even when I’m not watching a movie.