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Mr. Novak This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

Christopher Novak

The middle school teacher that contributed the most to my educational experience was my history teacher, Mr. Novak. One way that students, who do not know Mr. Novak well may describe his teaching method is infamous. I use the word infamous lightly, but I chose it because he gave us a quiz every day, every single day. At first, I thought because of this, I was going to hate his class, but after a few tests I started to realize that I barely had to study for them because I was studying constantly for the quizzes. I started enjoying the class after I got past worrying about the quizzes. I started liking it more and more. He made it so enjoyable; he would give kids nicknames and always make them feel at home in his classroom. After a while, I got into the habit of studying every night for every class, and I started getting better grades all because he gave us so many quizzes. That habit is one thing that helped me so much throughout the rest of school.
Jeopardy is one thing that everyone associated with Mr. Novak. Every few tests or so, he would let us pick teams and start to play Jeopardy. Everyone always wanted to win because he would give every student on the winning team a king size candy bar. This is another way that he helped me prepare for high school. Knowing that Jeopardy was coming soon, I would always review my notes, and I became more motivated as a student. This helped me prepare for taking midterms and finals in high school. This habit still helps me throughout high school; it will probably help in college too.
Throughout the school year we had to learn the world map, because at the end of the year we would have to draw it by heart. He made learning it so easy that by the end of the year I had learned all of it and mapped it perfectly. The reason I’m glad we learned this is because now whenever I hear breaking news that took place in foreign countries, I know exactly where they are, as well as some history behind them. This is a great skill that I learned from him, and I will use for the rest of my life.
One thing that made Mr. Novak great was that he would always give everyone a nickname. In doing this, he always made everyone feel at home and comforted. Sometimes he would even sing the nicknames. Then he would get into the habit of saying your nickname every time he saw you. He called me “Big Al,” and even though I wasn’t fond of the name at first, I began to like it more and more because it made me think of what a great teacher he was for caring enough to even make one up in the first place. He called my sister “Sammy S.” She graduated in 2009, and to this day whenever he sees her, he still greets her with her nickname, and she is in college now. Being given a special nickname from Mr. Novak made me, as well as all of his other students feel like we mattered to him. We felt that we were more than just the grades we received and the notes that we took.
I was very lucky to have had Mr. Novak for two years in middle school, when some people didn't even get the awesome opportunity to have him at all. They probably weren’t as ready for high school as the people who had Mr. Novak. Without him, I wouldn't have achieved as much as I have so far at DMA. Overall, Mr. Novak was the best teacher I have ever had. He helped me so much, and I will always be thankful for his support, his lessons, and the impact that he left on my education as well as my life. There is no better candidate for educator of the year than Mr. Novak ; he’s already won in my book.



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