Known as a pioneer in Macleans College’s English department and a literary genius in the eyes of students, Michael Green devoted 15 years to imparting his knowledge and love for language.
On Thursday evening, Macleans lost a giant among men. Larger than life, gentle and kind, Mr Green was loved dearly by students and teachers alike. His passion was contagious and his personality, charming.
His classroom was a second home to students, a place of comfort and where he cultivated a love of language and literature in all of his students. He taught like no other, his lessons always studded with stories of his past.
Since Mr Green’s passing, tributes have flowed in; people remember Mr Green’s quirks, his rich American accent, his colourful ties and his screensaver of his beloved dog, Mace.
Others remember his tales as an adventurer, living in Antarctica and his expeditions at a base camp in the United States. They remember his witty sense of humour, his daily riddles and his morning McDonald’s run, to grab a coffee and a muffin.
‘Tough love’ was Mr Green’s best friend. Many-a-time students were seen standing outside his classroom for one of the shenanigans they had pulled but many more times, shouts of glee and laughter were heard from within its walls.
Mr Green treated his students as an extension of himself, like family. Every birthday of theirs was celebrated with his rendition of a groovy song and the end of each term was marked with shared lunches and Mr Green’s famous chocolate brownies.
Mr Green has been Macleans’ speaking coach for years, with him spending hours on end training speakers and religiously driving them to competitions, where sometimes he’d be mistaken as their father, because of his cheering from the sidelines.
He gave his students a voice, instilling in them his own ardent love for language. He pushed them to do their best and was always proud of their accomplishments. Mr Green was an integral part of not just his whanau house, Te Kanawa, but also Macleans as a whole.
He was a rare soul with nothing but the best of intentions; he was always up for a talk, be it about books, politics or just life advice.
Mr Green retired earlier this year; yet he still made a concerted effort to come into school, spend time with students and relief teach. He worked till his last breath. Mr Green has left an indelible imprint on the lives of many. His unmatched enthusiasm and verve for life will truly be missed.
He was a fatherly figure who was looked up to with a great deal of respect. His love and kindness was most definitely felt by those who knew him both personally and otherwise, and his legacy will live on through the lives he touched.
– Macleans College News Committee