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Shelley Freeman: Geography • Harmony High School This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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I've always hated geography. Learning about maps and landforms was not satisfying and seemed pointless. I never thought I'd find a teacher who could make it remotely­interesting – until I met Mrs. Freeman.

At first I didn't know what to think. She intimidated me because I knew she expected a lot from her students. She had no tolerance for late work, rarely allowed test retakes, and would never offer extra credit. On the other hand, all of her former students raved about her. As the year progressed, I ­discovered that Mrs. Freeman was actually nice and extremely funny. It didn't take long before she earned the title of my favorite teacher.

Perhaps the main reason I've grown so fond of Mrs. Freeman is because she's not afraid to let her wacky personality shine through. For ­instance, while my classmates and I are taking notes from the board, Mrs. Freeman will entertain herself by swaying back and forth while singing “We are the world. We are the children.” The fact that she isn't afraid to be her silly self around her students makes her more approachable than most teachers.

Not only do I view Mrs. Freeman as a great teacher, but also as a friend. I'm close enough with her that we joke around. One day during class I placed a fake cockroach on of her computer. Minutes later I heard her shriek. When I began laughing she spat, “I'm going to make you eat this.”

With such a fun and quirky teacher, you might think I didn't do much work, but I've learned more from her than any other teacher. On most days, she presents us with an informal PowerPoint outline of the in-depth lecture she has prepared. She takes the time to compose lessons herself, rather than teach from a textbook.

To ensure that her students have absorbed the information, Mrs. Freeman gives us weekly quizzes. If students perform poorly, she will reteach the lesson.

Mrs. Freeman forces her students to take total responsibility for their actions. If someone forgets to complete an assignment, he doesn't have the chance to make it up. I know this from experience. Mrs. Freeman doesn't do this to be mean, but to prepare us for college. After all, she is teaching an AP class.

The high percentage of students from Mrs. Freeman's class pass the AP exam proves just how exemplary Mrs. Freeman's teaching skills are.

I am so grateful to have been blessed with a teacher as amazing as Mrs. Freeman. Her fun character and commendable teaching abilities have made me enjoy geography class. She deserves to be a Teen Ink Educator of the Year because not only does she teach students the materials, but she teaches us to take responsibility for our work. I don't know how I'll ever repay her for having such a positive impact on my life, but nominating her for this award is a start.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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KPetty13 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
May 13, 2012 at 2:38 pm
PLEASE COMMENT!!!!!!
 
Rosemary said...
May 2, 2012 at 11:41 am
Beautiful essay, Katie! You're a wonderful writer, and Mrs. Freeman sounds like a wonderful teacher. Congratulations on Editor's Choice and good luck with your promising writing career! :)
 
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