Mrs. Michelle Muller; English; Park Ridge High School

May 30, 2017
By LCDavis BRONZE, Park Ridge, New Jersey
LCDavis BRONZE, Park Ridge, New Jersey
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

“Nobody said it’d be easy; they just promised it’d be worth it”

Being an educator is not an easy task: teachers are constantly met with a challenge trying to find an equal balance between following the curriculum, but also mixing in entertainment, to keep their students engaged in academics, while ensuring they are receiving the best education possible. However, in my mind, I believe that my freshman English Honors teacher, Mrs. Michelle Muller has flawlessly achieved finding the balance between both serious and fun in the classroom.

In my high school, freshman English class is filled with learning and understanding classic novels, such as to Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Animal Farm by George Orwell, The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway and A Separate Peace by John Knowles. We also spent a few weeks analyzing the script of Romeo and Juliet written by William Shakespeare. In this day and age, no fifteen-year-old would voluntarily read these pieces, so it is up to today’s teachers to make potentially boring lessons, such as these, seem interesting for someone of our age to have a desire to read such works, and Mrs. Muller does just that.

For example, a moment that sticks out in my mind is when our class read Romeo and Juliet. Mrs. Muller assigned each student a character, and for a few days, we completed the script in its entirety, allowing us to become fully aware of the new writing style and the culture during this period in history. This could have been a boring unit if each student was forced to read and takes notes of our readings individually, but Mrs. Muller did not want that to be how we viewed Shakespeare and his great works, as it was the first time any of her students had been properly introduced to this magnificent playwright and his accomplishments. Instead, she took a serious topic and made it fun by letting us act it out with one another.

Mrs. Muller is a teacher who takes a visual approach as well. After we finish reading a particular piece, she lets us take the time to watch the movie, to compare and contrast how each is (or isn’t) like the other. Many other teachers might be reluctant to do this, fearing that we would become too involved in the movie or would not pay attention to the tasks asked of us, but Mrs. Muller was not afraid to take the risk and let us view a visual interpretation of what we had just read.

Not to mention, Mrs. Muller is an easy teacher to talk to. She help us to make adjustments if she notices that we are being overwhelmed or a problem is brought to her attention. As a student, I find this to be a great attribute in a teacher because it proves she actually cares about her students and what they are able to successfully take away from her class.

Unlike other teachers, Mrs. Muller remembers that I am not just her student, as I am also an honors biology student, geometry student, history student, and French student. Once again, from a student’s perspective, I find this as an enormous positive. As an avid dancer, I can be found in a dance studio anywhere between twelve and fifteen hours a week. This leaves little time for schoolwork, but I make school an absolute priority in the hours when I am home and put a lot of work into all of my classes. Mrs. Muller has done a wonderful job this year making sure that she does not overload us with busywork or unnecessary assignments, rather, the assignments she gives her students are meaningful and reinforce what was taught earlier in class. This is very helpful as she realizes that we have sometimes find it difficult to have enough time fitting both extracurriculars and academics easily into our schedule, and adding yet another homework assignment to the list of things to get completed might only stress us out more and make us less motivated to accurately and efficiently complete the work; she values a healthy work and life balance!

Being a part of Mrs. Muller’s English class has also had a huge impact on my writing abilities. As I get older, having the capability to proficiently write will only better myself and help me succeed in the future, and this skill starts in the classroom. With a teacher who is always willing to read our work and provide constructive feedback, I am surely going to be able to further my successes in high school and college courses, and wherever my career may take me because of this great foundation she has provided me with.

Of course, there will always be ups and downs in every class, but I can wholeheartedly believe that without Mrs. Muller as my English teacher this year, I would certainly not have learned as much as quickly as I was able to as a freshman. This wouldn’t be the case if it weren’t for such a great teacher who waits eagerly every day to begin a new lesson with her students, hoping they share the same love for learning, as she does for teaching.

It is no secret that a lot of time, effort and heart goes into teaching, but as educator, it really comes down to what the product is when all is said and done, what we students have learned when that final bell rings at the end of the school year.

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JTMuller said...
on May. 31 2017 at 12:42 pm
Thank you for recognizing my wife. She is a dedicated teacher who cares about her students and is fulfilled sharing her love of literature with both students and family.


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