Mrs. Mallow, a tall, wavy, blonde-haired woman changed education for me. She’s a former fourth and fifth grade teacher at Swallow School in Hartland, Wisconsin. She had a way of relating to her students unlike any other teacher. Her passion for teaching could be told through her passionate voice. Her students left class hopeful, not having to worry about bullying, and looking forward to the next day.
Mrs. Mallow is my favorite teacher for her continued support. I’ve long struggled with math, even at a young age which leads me to the impact Mrs. Mallow has had on my life.
One April afternoon in 2011, I approached Mrs. Mallow, wearing her green, Green Bay Packers quarter zip with the kicker kicking the football logo. I asked, “Can I please have help with our division homework?” A Friday, I believed in getting homework out of the way before the weekend. A a naive young boy, it didn’t cross my mind that I had asked her right before her lunch break.
Mrs. Mallow looked at me with her motherly and caring eyes and said, “I would be happy to help you.” As we worked through the problems, I was able to get answered all the questions I had and better grasp the concepts of basic division.
As the period ended, I finished my math homework. I let out a sigh of relief. Directly after, Mrs. Mallow announced I had won “Cookie of the Week” due to choosing to work on homework instead of being with friends. As I look back, it’s clear to me she is my cookie of education. She has no idea how much giving up her time meant to me.
As the test approached, I had more confidence, and even received an “A+” on the division test. Mrs. Mallow’s response to me asking for help was phenomenal. She showed me I should always seek help when needed. Mrs. Mallow cared about her students, showcased through her sacrificing her time to make her students proficient.
As the end of the year approached, I remained disappointed to leave her. August came around with the released homerooms for the next school year. I was ecstatic to have found out I had Mrs. Nelson for the fifth grade. As I talked with my friends including Nick Barry and Audrey Redeker, they had told me their teachers for fifth grade were Mrs. Olenchek and Mrs. Mallow. My jaw dropped when I heard the news that she had moved up with my class. I remember being so excited to share this news with my parents.
All of a sudden, the summer ending didn’t seem so bad, as I would have Mrs. Mallow as my fifth grade science teacher Wednesday through Friday. Mrs. Mallow had the heart of a lion.
She continued to be her genuine and kind self as she explained in depth the process of electricity through our battery lab and following labs throughout the entirety of the school year. As questions came to my head, I felt comfortable asking her and she continued to be happy to help at any given moment. When quiz or test day came around, I prayed it would be her day to teach as I knew she would steer me in the right direction or relate my question to something we did in class; leading to sparking the correct answer in my head.
Mrs. Mallow possessed a unique way of teaching her class through her tenacity and getting the whole class collectively involved and engaged. She made sure everyone in the class felt included. Yet her impact went far beyond school. She prompted her students not only to do their best, but also to be their best genuine selves.
To this day, I have never had a more caring and respectable teacher. I am forever grateful to have had Mrs. Mallow as a mentor and friend. Her passionate voice will resonate with me for ages to come.