I entered my British Literature class at Arrowhead High School expecting nothing but boredom. My attitude was quickly changed once I met Ms. Passler. Her welcoming hellos as each student walked through the door was the first thing that caught my attention.
Her charming, attention grabbing voice as she started reading off the first lines of Beowulf is the only reason I didn’t tune out the story. And those days where I could not seem to stay awake, instead of discipline, Ms. Passler would recommend me to get a coffee and take a walk around the school. Her students’ attitude towards learning in her class was more important to her than giving grades.
One day I came into class unprepared for the test we had to take. I failed it and my best friend fell asleep through the whole test. Instead of giving us both the grades we deserved, she pulled us aside and showed our class grades after the test was in. Then she answered all of our questions about the test and let us both retake it a week later, promising that we’d study and do good. This shows that Ms. Passler cared more about her students learning what she taught, rather than just giving an F and moving on.
Before I took British Literature, I had no interest in reading, let alone reading dusty books written a thousand years ago. But after taking Ms. Passler class, she introduced me to reading more, specifically classic stories that have been around for hundreds of years. She opened me up to a whole new hobby that I will have the rest of my life.
But the biggest impact Ms. Passler has had on me was the way she’d have conversations with me before and after class. She’d talk to me like I’m a normal person outside of school, and not just a student of hers. We’d tell stories, talk about my bad habits, ask about how life was at home, and even ask how my job was going. She always seemed to care about what I had to say and would change her schedule if I ever needed to talk to her. She is one of the few teachers that I can see as not just a teacher of mine but a friend.
The day to day cycle of school can get monotonous, affecting both teacher and student moods. It is often hard to keep a positive attitude and it can become a conveyor belt teaching style, repeating the same lectures over and over again but to different students. When thinking about this, one teacher comes to mind in who not only keeps a positive attitude about her but also helps students to keep a positive outlook whilst involving her students in fun and engaging ways throughout the lesson. This teacher that comes to mind is none other than the fabulous Mrs. Passler!
I have had the opportunity to be in Mrs. Passler’s class two times: American Literature in junior year and British Literature in senior year of high school. Both classes have been incredibly enjoyable experiences, completely changing my outlook on how fun gaining new information and reading can be.
By far my favorite unit with Mrs. Passler has to be when we went over romanticism and what it means to be a romantic. Although those words are often associated with love and passionate feelings about another, they can also mean who you are as a person and what you value in life. We looked at Realism versus Romanticism and how different people see nature and spend their time. Mrs. Passler seemed so interested in this topic and teaching us about it it really helped break that barrier between teacher and student and made it feel like it was just a friend telling me about an incredibly intriguing idea. This helped spark my deep love for nature and I have Mrs. Passler to thank for that.
Her teaching style helped make it immensely interesting to learn in Mr.s Passler’s class. During the romanticism unit, we went over a deeply moving story about Chris McCandless (a college student who left everything he had behind and became a hitchhiker to travel the country solely on his love for nature and his interest in the idea of self-reliance seeking to experience in its rawest and purest form.) Whilst going over this story we went over a self-reliance/philosophy unit which I still keep the packets for to this day and look at them from time to time.
Mrs. Passler brings amazing energy into class every single day, helping everyone to smile around her putting aside their worries of the day.
On behalf of all of your students, you truly helped and impacted every single one of us in a positive way. Thank you from the bottom of my heart; you are amazing!
Joseph W Krueger
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