On my first day of school, 6th period, I face with a man who called himself “Dr.K.” I could feel his enthusiasm, determination, and energy to expand our knowledge; it wasn’t just about what he was teaching, it was the way he taught. He isn't an intimidating teacher that makes everyone afraid to participate, he encourages discussion and sets ease to the fearful freshmen and new students such as myself. Of course there’s always boring notes and lectures, but what really stands out is the way he always manages to think of something such burning a snowman or inflating a peep to explain Boyle’s law, to clarify the information in a millenial’s understanding. This makes it so much easier for students to learn instead of memorizing the whole curriculum. Moreover, he doesn’t make you afraid to ask for help, in fact, even on a test day, he still helps students. He sets the foundation of teaching at Ramapo High School and through him, other teachers improve themselves such as following the way he sets labs up for students. Best of all, he successfully offers a different perspective on teaching to help students understand what Chemistry really is, no matter what other teachers might think, by implanting the most useful basic teaching materials that most teachers leave out, such as actually listening to what the students need.
I am honored to express my appreciation towards Dr. K and an amazing year where I truly expanded my horizons and was able to view the world in the eyes of a true chemist. An award winning teacher simply isn’t just good, they’re outstanding; exceptional; one in a million. They’re someone that students not only look up to, but other coworkers as well. An awards winning teacher as the ability, throughout all that teacher gossip, to remain the person both the students and teachers appreciate everyday. He puts shame in the opinion that female teachers are “better than male teachers.” He doesn’t dodge questions students ask, instead he encourages discussion by having us think deeper and outside the box. Another think I appreciate the most is that, instead of treating us like kids, Dr. K knows when to be down- to- Earth and understands that students are intelligent human beings and does his best to help us accumulate the understanding that we deserve.
Dr. K’s compassion for teaching is evident in the way he assures students that they are capable of being, as he always says,” the best of the best”. That compassionate feeling is not as common as more and more teachers pass the teacher tenure, yet Dr. K remains as an remarkable Chemistry teacher. At Ramapo High School, he’s not just a teacher, he’s an inspiration, an influence, and a leader. These qualities make Dr.K the most deserving candidate of the 2018 Teen Ink Award.