Craig Hasse, History, Arrowhead Union High This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

I’ve had senioritis since my junior year of high school. It doesn’t make sense to be diagnosed with such a terrible disease a year early, but I guess you could say I’m in the minority. I go to school every day and sit through the same stuff in 10 classes. Teachers get up and spill out the lessons our school board requires. Half the time, they are about as interested in what’s coming out of their mouths as I am, and I’m stuck there spinning my tires. I hear a lot of stuff, but in the end I get nowhere.

So when I walked into history class junior year, I had the same attitude. I was prepared to hear some dude read me a textbook I could have read on my own. Mr. Hasse looked like any other teacher I’ve had, wearing a collared shirt and ­khaki pants, with thinning hair. Why would I think he was any different? He started his introduction the same way he would for the rest of the year. “Children of the corn,” he said as he worked into his lesson. When I heard that, I was ready to listen.

Mr. Hasse was completely different from any other “stick to the lesson plan” teacher I have ever had. Sure, he would go through the textbook and occasionally read from it, but after that, he’d go off on tangents, spewing tidbits of information that actually made me want to listen. Mr. Hasse was a textbook with flair. He told us dirt on Thomas Jefferson, gave us songs to help us remember things, showed us actual news articles from the time, and made us interested in normally boring things.

He sparked my interest in the Kennedy assassination and gave me a movie to watch. Now, what ­student with senioritis would watch an educational movie in his spare time with no grading benefit? But on that Saturday night, all I could say was “Back and to the left.”

It’s been a year since I had a class with Mr. Hasse, but I still talk to him a couple of times a week, and I can’t say that for any other teacher. He still loans me movies and asks how I’m doing and about my job. Mr. Hasse not only created a great relationship with me, he also made me want to learn. When you hear that from a student who has had senioritis for two years, you know that teacher is doing something right. That is why I am nominating Craig Hasse as Educator of the Year.

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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SMWells said...
Oct. 29, 2010 at 6:41 pm
Being frinds with a teacher is prety unusual. But I find adults tend to make more sence than other people my age.
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