“Buenos maestros aprovechan al máximo las posibilidades de un estudiante...” (Maria Callas). This quote translates to “good teachers take full advantage of the possibilities of a student”. I believe that this quote describes Mrs. White’s approach to teaching. She has a presence in her classroom that lets the student know she’s there to teach but also to have fun. She has well over 80 students in all of her classes combined, but she is attentive to each one’s needs. Mrs. White teaches us how to be determined and persistent in and out of the classroom. Finding the best way to study is hard for everyone, but she goes out of her way to help someone find their best way of learning. Learning a new language can be hard and stressful, but Mrs. White knows how change the attitude in a room. She understands the concept of teaching.
The effort you put in is directly related to the reward you will receive. Mrs. White’s syllabus is plain and simple. She offers no extra credit because she makes the student understand that he or she can not slack off in the beginning, and then try to raise his or her grade on extra credit alone. She teaches a very beneficial lesson by offering no extra credit. Her lesson implies to real life as well. For example, if someone in a job decided not to work to their full potential, and when it comes time for promotions, they expect to be promoted on their below average work, then they would be very disappointed because they would not receive the promotion. This lesson is taught every day by Mrs. White. With her homework every answer must be completed. It doesn’t have to be right at first, but it must show that the student has tried and or asked for help to understand it. Mrs. White taught me that hard work and dedication will take you farther in life than below average work.
Studying is almost impossible when there is no guidance. Mrs. White knows that some students can’t study by themselves. She stays after school to help students understand material and learn new ways to memorize vocabulary. Her two best quotes are, “Eyes and hair… always use ‘tener’” and, “How you feel and where you are… always use the verb ‘estar’”. Studying can be boring to a lot of students. Mrs. White’s fun classroom studying games always help make studying a blast. It could be a Jenga tower full of unconjugated verbs or seeing who can find the proper conjugated verb on the sheet the fastest. If a student walks into Mrs. White’s room confused, they definitely won’t leave that way.
School itself is very stressful, but a foreign language is another world. Learning and memorizing English grammar and punctuation rules is hard enough, but learning different rules in another language is even more difficult. Mrs. White changes the atmosphere in the room very quickly. She could turn on everyone’s favorite Spanish music, show funny but informative videos on how to conjugate verbs, or simply tell us a funny story. She makes us learn the curriculum, but then she shows us how to have fun with it. If we have to learn how to say our emotions, we can watch the movie Inside Out in Spanish. We do fun activities with partners which can show us a new take on how other students learn the vocabulary. Mrs. White’s ability to change the thoughts students have on learning Spanish is a necessity.
Mrs. White is a hard working, motivational teacher. She teaches you lessons for not only the classroom but also real life. She helps improve study habits with students individually. She brings a fun and entertaining atmosphere into the classroom which allows her students to learn to their best ability. Mrs. White takes full advantage of the possibilities of her students and helps them reach further than their full potential. For these reasons and more, I nominate Mrs. White for Educator of the Year.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.