SAN ANTONIO -- Robert Alan Green has traveled an extraordinary path to the classroom. After 26 years in the Army, this former paratrooper landed at Langley Elementary in the Northside Independent School District.
"About two years before I retired I saw an article that Texas needed more male teachers. I'd been to San Antonio numerous times during my military career and I said, 'Let's go back to San Antonio' -- and because I want to be a school teacher," Green said.
While attending UTSA for his teaching certificate, he got a job at Ott Elementary, but not as a teacher.
"I had to apply for the assistant head custodial position," Green said.
While he cleaned the school at night, he learned even more.
"It was tremendous," he said. "I was able to go into every single classroom every night and saw everything on the wall that was working and saw what wasn't working. I would recommend it for anyone who wants to go into teaching. After about a year, teachers started asking me to rearrange their classrooms to make it work better in a teaching environment."
In his sixth year teaching, Green has young students focused on their futures.
"He teaches us what we need to know what we need to do for college," said 8-year-old Jacob Garza.
Green can be found, before and after school, working with students in the Chess Club that he started.
"I played chess since I was about their age. I started in third grade," Green said.
He started working with children teaching them chess while he was in the military. He continues that effort now that he's a teacher.
"We've been very successful at every single tournament," Green said.
Nearly 100 students participate in the Chess Club -- close to 20 percent of all students at the school. Green raised all of the money needed for the club through grants and fundraisers. He then did a study on the impact of chess and found that students were improving academically.
"Fourth and fifth students in the chess club have higher grades. We saw that their science grades going up and their math grades going up," Green said.
He's a teacher, a chess master, custodian, paratrooper
His students will tell you just about everything about Mr. Green is...
"Awesome!" said third grader Melia Palmajar.