Educator for the History Books

May 5, 2017
By b.birk13 GOLD, Hartland, Wisconsin
b.birk13 GOLD, Hartland, Wisconsin
11 articles 0 photos 0 comments

When I was a sophomore, I took AP U.S. History, and I can’t imagine a more challenging class . As a freshman, after I signed up, the teachers had a meeting to tell us the reasons why we shouldn’t take the class. But this meeting didn’t change my mind about the class or scare me away (and I couldn’t be more glad it didn’t). If it did I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to learn from the most amazing teacher ever: Ms. Hechimovich (or as us APUSH students called her, Hecho).

Although the class contained more material than I could imagine, Hecho made me excited for the challenge. Each day, Hecho seemed to be more ecstatic than the last. Her passion for history radiated. Although the class contained more material than I could imagine, Hecho made me excited for the challenge. I had at least three different homework assignments everyday, but after class, I was excited to get started. What we learned in class was so interesting (the Revolutionary War, the Civil Rights Movement, and every president to take office in the United States), I wanted to learn more. I didn’t think I’d ever love history, but because of Hecho, I study it in awe. I have found myself doing unassigned history research to this day and if I’m talking to someone and can find a way to relate the conversation I do.

Hecho made class fun and interesting. What else could you expect from a young teacher with hair splashed with purple? When we learned about the Cold War and Hecho had us do a simulation. We were put into groups and assigned countries. After given the background of what historically our countries wanted, we wrote letters to each other and strategized how to go about our relationships. Then, we had a conference where each country stood and stated their stances. We debated and debated and the class got intense. I simultaneously learned about the chaos of the Cold War and had the most fun I’ve ever had in a class. 

Every Friday, class started with Hecho saying, “Guess what day it is?” and the whole class shouting in response, “Fun Video Friday!” Hecho showed us videos of another AP U.S. History teacher, Mr. Betes, who took popular songs and rewrote them into history lessons. This is just another way Hecho made class fun. The most memorable Fun Video Friday was a video about a kid with a learning disability who was once bullied but then gained friends. This video brought me to tears as I have a younger brother with autism who deal with school bullies often which is always heartbreaking. Hecho understood that and she took me into that hallway and comforted me. She hugged me and said I could take all the time I needed to calm down. Her kindness was amazing, and her passion to educate students on how to be better people shows Hecho has a heart of gold.
Throughout the Arrowhead hallways, I have heard negative reviews of AP U.S. History—but students who had Hecho as a teacher don’t have a bad word to say. She always captured the attention of her audience. With her infectious energy and passion for history. Students couldn’t help but feel the same.

Hecho is like a chameleon, always adapting and changing her teachings to fit each student, allowing them to take notes however they pleased, including pictures and videos in her lectures for visual learners, and often included work in groups for interpersonal learners. 

I don’t think I could have done so well in AP U.S. History if it weren’t for Hecho. Without all the study tools she taught me, I wouldn’t be doing this well in school period. When I got a five on my AP exam I had no one to thank but her. That is why Hecho is and will always be my favorite educator.

The author's comments:

This piece was written in appreciation for my AP U.S. History teacher. 

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