Educator of the Year

April 3, 2009
By Noah Nelson BRONZE, Oconomowoc, Wisconsin
Noah Nelson BRONZE, Oconomowoc, Wisconsin
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

The other day during English class I was told by my teacher, Mrs. Passler, to write a paper on a story we had read. It was due the next day. We were supposed to try and figure out what the theme behind the story was. I sat staring at my computer with a blank word document ready to write, but nothing came to me. I sat like this for the entire class. Mrs.Passler walked over to my computer, looked over my shoulder, and said, “Just not feeling it today Noah?”Any other teacher I have would have been fuming, asking how I sat in a 40-minute class and managed to not come up with a single sentence about a subject we just read something on. This was Mrs. Passler though. She knew I would get the assignment done, but she was intelligent enough to realize during those 40 minutes, I just didn’t have anything good to write. She didn’t think I was lazy or a bad student. Instead, she let me do the work at my own pace. That night, I went home and wrote one of the best papers I have ever written.

In a world with so much pressure from peers, coaches, teachers, and parents, it can be nice to have a place where you can go to and know somebody will always have your back. For me, that place is in Mrs.Passler’s English class. The number one reason why I have so much respect for Mrs.Passler is the way the she was able to completely take control and take over the all male’s English class. (Arrowhead is a co-ed school, however, an experiment was set up to have a class with all male students in it.) She knows when to make a joke, and when to tell somebody to be quiet. Mrs.Passler has never showed any sign of intimidation, and she has been able to “be one of the guys,” while at the same time, hold the high power of the classroom.

Mrs.Passler has the ability to tell when her students are having a rough day, and she somehow finds a way to bring everyone’s spirits up. If the class is being quiet, she will tell a funny story about one of her kids or about a crazy time she had with one of her friends, and the whole class won’t be able to keep their mouths shut after, providing conversation for the rest of the class. She finds ways to get students involved during her class. It feels like there is no work being done at all. But, at the end of the class, I’ll stop and think. Wow, we actually got a whole lot of things done today.

The next day I came to class with the paper in my hand. After saying hello to the class, Mrs.Passler went around the room to collect the papers. All my classmates got their papers out, bragging to each other about how much better theirs was than everyone else. When she came to my desk, she said, “Thank you, Noah. I’m excited to read this. It’s going on the top of my pile.” Mrs.Passler walked to the front of the room, put the papers down on her desk, and placed mine on the top. A huge smile came across my face, and I was ready for whatever Mrs.Passler had in store for us that day.

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