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Mr Reinhardt; Entertainer, Friend, And Educator of the year This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

Dictionary.com defines a teacher as someone who “educates,” usually as a profession, so it doesn’t seem sufficient to call him a teacher when he did so much more. His name is Mr. Reinhardt, and what he did for me superseded whatever is expected of a teacher and quite simply; a person. It all started in 8th grade when I walked into my homeroom was handed a schedule and I saw it:

Earth Science 8A

I was expecting some boring teacher who would plop himself in his chair and talk about rocks and earthquakes and hand us some homework at the end of the day and then cast us away when the bell rung, boy was I wrong. I still remember walking into that classroom for the first time, smelling the fresh air from outside, seeing that green floor, noticing his relaxed demeanor. Most time by the time you reach 8th period your teacher is either too lazy to care about you, or uses their last spurts of energy to teach the lesson and thanks god when you leave. This was totally different. From the first day, he changed my perception on teaching. He made me want to be in the classroom, the bell became the curse, and him talking about rocks for an extra 5 minutes wasn’t a bad thing, it was a gift. Science was always so boring to me, just “Hey guys, we’re going to learn how a flower grows today, look at these pictures and be quiet.” They never cared, as long as we passed a test at the end of the year, it was all good. When people told me about all these amazing teachers I would always be skeptical,

“Yeah, as if, we all know teachers don’t care about us. They just do their jobs and if they show any extra interest in us it’s just to raise our marks so they look good.”

I assure you every time I left classroom 316, with the green floors, each 9th period I grew less skeptical. It was the first time I was ever interested in anything that had to do with school. He did everything he could to keep things fresh and interesting for us, if it wasn’t bringing in remotes to play a jeopardy type science game, rapping about certain aspects of what we were learning, or playing music while we were doing lab to make the environment lively, he was never at a loss for original ideas. He walked a tightrope between world class teacher, and entertainer, he could have you feverishly writing in your notebook, or gasping for air after a corny, yet surprisingly funny joke. This balancing act was what made him such a great teacher, he gave us all the tools we needed to take our regents at the end of the year, but he still taught us that there are laughs and memories to be had through the school year.

Toasts to the winter solstice, pictures of his wild adventures in various places, his funny games and activities.

And when all that was done we got back into it. He taught us the best he could, and I’ve never met anyone of my peers that were unsatisfied with his job, or simply couldn’t understand. I may not want to be a scientist now, or a teacher, but he opened up my mind. He taught me lessons that he was never compensated for in his paychecks; he put in the effort that most others think is unnecessary. And this dedication is why my teacher, Mr. Reinhardt, is the educator of the year…

And I’ll never forget him.



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Thatdaydreamer This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 25, 2013 at 3:07 pm:
You write so well, I can really picture this teacher and the excitement he brought to your lessons! he sounds cool, I hope to be tought by someone like him one day:)
 
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