Teacher of the Year

May 5, 2017
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Senior year began and my schedule did not contain the stereotypical, slack off senior year classes. It consisted of three AP classes including AP Biology, AP Psychology, and AP Calculus. As I walked into Mr. Hessler’s classroom for my first day of AP Calculus, I knew this year wasn’t going to be like my other math classes. His room contained simple decorations. The walls weren’t covered in construction paper. Only pictures of past students stayed on his walls—and this showed me he cared and was willing to help me. 

Every Friday, we had a quiz, but it wasn’t a normal quiz. Every Friday, we picked a theme (fish Friday, freedom Friday, fact Friday, floaty Friday, ect.). With these themes, we decided on three to five requirements that must be met if we wanted a partner on our quiz. My class chose themes that required us to dress up as football players, wear floaties, and paint our faces. Our themed quizzes added excitement to the hard AP calculus class.
Since fourth grade, I have excelled and enjoyed math. But until this year, my teachers never taught me in a way that I understood, so I taught myself. Thankfully, Math always came easy to me and I overcame each math struggle alone. I wasn’t worried when I signed up for AP Calculus because Precalc was a breeze. But AP Calculus has been a serious struggle for me and thankfully I had Mr. Hessler as my teacher.

Mr. Hessler is a math teacher, father to a previous Arrowhead athlete, and friend of many. He is excited to learn about his students and help when his students need them. He has been teaching math for 29 years, which enables him to know exactly what we as a class needed to hear to succeed.

Mr. Hessler keeps calc class interesting (which tends to be difficult). He gives us triggers to help us remember how to complete problems and be successful. As you walk in his class, you may hear him yell, “JUNIORS!” or maybe, “You OWN this problem!” or maybe even, “SEEK AND DESTROY!” You have no idea what any of these sayings mean, but I do. He constantly repeats these triggers throughout the year so that during the AP test, we hear him in the back of our heads, giving us help.

Mr. Hessler is like Isaac Newton while teaching AP Calculus. Last year 92% of his students passed the AP test (which are phenomenal statistics). But he doesn’t just prepare us for the AP test, he also prepares us for next year (when we will be in college taking our next calculus class). He has received multiple emails from previous students thanking him for what he teaches us after the AP test. He has a corkboard in his room that is surrounded by past students’ pictures. Students want him to remember them because they know they will remember him.

Mr. Hessler is my favorite teacher because he is energetic, thoughtful, and creative. He is passionate about his job and believes in his students. He knows all his students can excel past what they believe they can. He has made me determined, patient, and fully prepared for what I am going to encounter math next year at Oregon State University.

As I say goodbye to Arrowhead, I will sadly be saying goodbye to my favorite math teacher as well. I look forward to emailing him, thanking him for his amazing job.

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