When it comes to Language Arts, I have enjoyed every single teacher I have had. English teachers have an energy, enthusiasm and empathy (which are all qualities I like to be around). However, none of them have successfully been able to match Mr. Freeburg, my Modern Literature teacher.
Mr. Freeburg is an exceptional teacher who succeeds at simultaneously being sarcastic and energetic. He is supportive, but willing to point out the flaws in his students to better help them in the future. He directs the classes’ attention to both mistakes and accomplishments in which we as a class, all learn from. For example, he can easily figure out if the students hadn’t been reading. He figures it out by asking them a question about the book that could be solved by anybody that read. Once he determines whether they read or not, he just reminds them that there will be a test and he generally doesn’t say anything else about it.
He promotes creativity and wants people to try in his class. Before reading each new book (such as Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore and Hater) we complete a background check as well as research references in the novel.
The interactions between Mr. Freeburg and myself are unique because we share similar interests. We are fans of older movies and Sci-Fi/Horror/Apocalypse books. I was one of the only students to understand several of the references he would make in class before he even explained them.
A few days into the semester, he asked me in front of the class, “What, were you locked in a cage and fed pop culture growing up?” This made it easier for me to raise my hand in class. From that point on, we recommended books and movies to each other whenever we had a chance. For example, he recommended that I watch 1959’s On the Beach and I recommended he watch The Innocents.In fact, he specifically asked me to list black and white horror movies we could watch to get us ready to read the horror novel, The Good Child. While he didn’t use any of the movies I suggested, he thanked me for the help, as I narrowed his search.
Mr. Freeburg brought endless energy to class on a daily basis. A day didn’t go by where he didn’t make the class laugh and push students to reach their full potential. This is an important part of life; you should be able to find enjoyment in the basic things while also learning new things and this is what Mr. Freeburg does for his students.
Although I’m not in any of his classes anymore, whenever we see each other in the hallway, we nod at each other in approval or cross our arms to make an X as if to say: we are on the same page. Freeburg is a king among men and a god among kings. By the end of the semester, I improved my vocabulary, writing skills, and knowledge of random facts. Perhaps most importantly, I had an experience with a teacher that I know I will never forget. For these reasons, I am nominating Mr. Freeburg as Educator of the Year.