Teacher of the Year

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I had a math teacher who casted a spell over the class each semester. My classmates nodded off and the lesson vanished before our eyelids. I love the subject, but the teachers aren’t enthusiastic enough to catch my wondering attention…that was, until junior year.

It was the first day of the semester and this teacher captured my focus. He was like a long lost friend I knew but couldn’t remember as he greeted each student coming into the room. The energy he brought to the room exploded as smiles appeared on the students’ faces.
Mr. Hessler energized zombie-like students who came to class with a single “good morning!” Prepared for class with a positive attitude, he uplifted my mood and made the school day bearable.

Mr. Hessler gave us real world application for the lessons he taught in class. He gave us a real reason to learn. If we didn’t understand part of the lesson, a quick “sidebar” gave us an easier explanation. Oddly enough, math was comprehensible, straight forward, and intriguing. I wouldn’t have expected a math class to be easy. And dare I say enjoyable!

He breathed life into the room. Before each class, there was a quote on the board to inspire us. It gave me inspiration to be all I could be. They were thought-provoking like the quote by Elbert Hubbard: “The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing that you will make one.” I looked forward to reading these quotes because it gave me reasons to reflect and do better.
On every holiday, he used a game or activity to cool our brains off. On Valentine’s Day, Mr. Hessler amused us by showing how to graph a heart on our calculator. For St. Patrick’s Day, we graphed a four leaf clover. We played a celebrity matching game after a quiz the day before Christmas break. These activities were simple but quickly made my day hundreds of times better by the time the bell echoed through the hall.
He understood students live lives outside of school and he respected our free time. Help was provided before, during, and after school. Whenever we were free is when he was ready to help. He made time in his busy schedule as a coach, father of two, and a teacher to help each student.
Mr. Hessler was the only teacher to keep me awake for a math lecture. I’m ecstatic to know there are teachers in this world who engage their students in learning. I enjoyed every moment of his classes because he encouraged me to do my best, gave help when I needed it, and got me the grade I worked for. I’m surprised to have had such an amazing teacher.





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