Teaching Since Day One

Miriam Lang Joins the Hill


Miriam Lang begins teaching at Greenhill for the 2019-2020 school year.

Khushi Chhaya

Teaching has been a passion for Miriam Lang since she was four years old, when she would teach pretend lessons to a row of dolls and stuffed toys as if they were her students.

By high school, Lang was a teachers’ assistant and took an elective course that allowed her to plan mini-lessons for students at a local elementary school, she said.

Certain that teaching was her calling, she went on to get her math and education degrees and taught for several years in Los Angeles.

Now, Lang has transformed her lifelong passion for teaching into a new role as a Middle School math teacher at Greenhill.

“The families, the faculty and the students have all been very sweet and super welcoming,” Lang said.

Lang’s journey to Greenhill began when she met Celeste Sanders, Middle School Math Department chair, at a conference a few years ago.

“She ended up introducing me to most of the administration and it was just a very natural fit,” Lang said, “I was just like ‘these would be the type of people I would want to work with.’”

When she was contacted in January by assistant Head of School Tom Perryman about several available positions in the Middle and Upper School math departments, she jumped at the opportunity, she said.

Upon her arrival, she immediately noticed the close-knit community that is Greenhill School.

“There’s a lot of adjustment because I came from California,” Lang said, “I also think I’m still getting adjusted to just the private school world. There’s just a learning curve. Other than that, I have felt very welcomed.”

When it comes to teaching, Lang tries to accommodate the needs of each individual, she said. She tries to meet every student where they are in their understanding of math and bring them up to where she needs them to be in a way that works for them, while continuing to challenge those who are grasping the concepts with confidence.

“That’s what I live for,” Lang said.” For the kids that aren’t getting it, that’s how I get them to get it.”

Her students agree that her methods are helpful. Seventh grader Ava Hignite described her teaching style as “unique,” mentioning that she makes the most of every class.

“Her class is tough, but I know I will learn a lot this year,” seventh grader Boston Cross said.

In her search for a Middle School math teacher, Sanders was looking for a teacher who is innovative, eager to get to know the kids and has new ideas and fresh perspectives to bring to the table. She said that Lang checked all those boxes.

“You can tell that she loves what she does and she loves thinking of innovative ways to get the kids up and moving and talking and collaborating,” Sanders said. “Sometimes in math classes it can feel like you are being lectured at. Sometimes it’s hard for certain topics to not do that but she tries to find ways to not do that for her students.”

Away from the classroom, Lang enjoys cooking with her five-year-old daughter, trying new recipes frequently. She spends most of her time outside of school doing things with her daughter, cherishing the fact that she is still little, she said.

Lang also cherishes quiet time.

“Sometimes if I’m just home by myself, I don’t turn the TV on, I don’t play any music,” Lang said. “I’m just good with silence. So that for me is really soothing.”

Lang has found the shift from Los Angeles to Dallas a pleasant change of pace. The hustle and bustle is significantly less, and Dallas has a family-friendly aspect that she appreciates, she said.

Lang’s big goal for this year is to maintain a balance between her home life and her work life. She finds that it is hard to thrive in a work environment when the home environment is not running smoothly, and vice versa.

“[She is] someone who kind of is a lifelong learner and who has some experience to bring to the table to teach all of us,” Sanders said, “because we should constantly be changing how we teach to fit what our students need.”