Educator of the Year Nomination

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Throughout my ten years of school there are very few teachers that stood out to me. It is generally the same thing every year, just 9 months of work and study and then a small summer vacation. This same thing happened all through my middle school years. I was going into my last year there, being in 8th grade I figured it would be the same old song and dance; I did not realize I would encounter a teacher that I would always look up to and see as a friend. I had Robert Lingenfelter as my social studies teacher, and everyone always told me great things about him, but I did not really know him at all; I did not know what to expect. He taught in a way that was unlike any other teacher I have ever had. Mr. L completely changed my impression of Skyline Middle school and had me leaving it with a positive attitude by the end of the year.

The very first thing I realized about Mr. L is that it is very hard to not respect him. I learned this during the first class of the year. He always said he never liked the way he was taught growing up, and he wanted to do it his own way. This means we did not have our faces buried in a dusty, old, cobweb filled text book all day. He made learning fun, the way it should be. I noticed he was always a positive person and always up-beat. His ceiling was filled with motivational sayings and quotes that other students painted throughout the years. Mr. L did not favor or choose the students he liked; all were equal, and all always had a second chance. I could tell by the sincerity in his voice, and how he always made eye contact that I would respect him immensely.

It would generally be obscure thinking of our teachers as a friend. We would normally feel awkward talking to an adult the way we would our friends, but Mr. L always was the exception. His job did not end at 2:30pm every day when the final bell rang; Mr. L was always open and ready to talk to you. He even had a box in his classroom where you would write to him about your problems, and he would read and personally discuss it with you. He always encourages students to stop back in to visit once they moved on to high school. He listens to you and treats you the way he would want to be treated. Everyone was his friend, and there was a slim chance you could be on his bad side even on his worst day.

We always did the lesson in a fun, exhilarating way that kept everyone’s head up and eyes open. Probably my favorite thing we did in his class was when we acted out how a bill becomes a law. We were all assigned a famous person from that time period who we would be for that lesson. I still remember I was James Madison. Even Mr. L would get all into the lesson and dress up in a powdered wig, and sit at the judges table with a mallet. We would pick from about 150 laws and change one, making modifications to it, and then finally getting on the microphone to present it to the class. Once we discussed it the class we would vote on whether it would pass or fail. It was so much fun that I did not even realize how much I learned. We also did a lesson on the assassination of JFK, which would also be one of my favorite lessons.

By the end of the school year I was actually a bit sad it came and went so quickly. I was upset to know I was leaving the school and Mr. L, but I was glad to know I did not leave Skyline with a bad taste in my mouth. I left it with happy memories and a lot of knowledge. I have yet to go back and visit Mr. L but I plan on it next school year. I have wanted to, but high school is a lot more hectic and work than you would think, and it has made it difficult. It should be obvious why Mr. L is my favorite teacher, and it should also be obvious why I would choose him to be the Educator of the Year. I really miss my middle school because of him, and I also have a whole different outlook on life. Thank you so much, Mr. Lingenfelter.





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