by Milan Blazek, grade 12
I’ve known for most of my life that I want to be an educator myself, but what I didn’t know is what kind of educator I want to be. I’ve had some really good teachers throughout my life but the one who has impacted me the most is my 12th grade English teacher, Mrs. Munkwitz at Arrowhead High School. She has inspired me to strive to create a welcoming environment, to show gratitude and respect to all, as well as showing the significance of having and sharing passions.
What I have come to now realize is that with teaching it’s the little things that matter most when impacting a student. Fluorescent lights fill the school, in every hallway and classroom I am bombarded with the intense reality that I am in fact in school, but walking into Mrs. Munkwitz’s classroom I am met with warm and welcoming light radiating from the lamps in her room. I feel safe and at peace when I am in her classroom. The environment that she created in her classroom allowed me to be present in learning and sharing.
In school, students are often expected to meet the high expectations of adulthood but are still treated like kids. Being one of Mrs. Munkwitz’s students was the first time I felt like an adult in school, someone with value and contribution to the classroom. She had high expectations for us, meeting deadlines, completing our work, and respecting others. She made me feel like I had a purpose in the classroom by holding me and everyone one else to these expectations, but also treating us like adults. She knew we were capable of meeting requirements and wanted us to thrive in the environment she created.
Mrs. Munkwitz shared her passions through the lessons she taught. From only one semester of World Literature, I have learned of world events and history that I have never heard of. I have discovered new cultures and movements happening right now. I have read and studied new forms of literature and through it all, I have been taught the importance of passion. To have aspirations and achieve goals you set for yourself. She has a passion for art and music, she shares her love of family and she spends time expressing her gratitude for literature. She constantly inspires reading through book talks, where she presents the many books she read that month and encourages her students to do the same. Most importantly she has a passion for teaching, sharing what she loves with her students and encouraging them to follow what they are passionate about as well.
Mrs. Munkwitz has inspired me to continue my goal of becoming a teacher, but not just to educate students, to guide and assist others in finding their own passions. Because of Mrs. Munkwitz, I know I have a purpose in the classroom, to do as she continues to do, share ambitions and ignite passions.