Students share the impact their teachers have on them


Credit: Carter Pickett

Isaac Patrick and Mr. Kitzman talk during Honors English class.

Krystiana Bernstein, Staff Writer

You woke up late, skipped breakfast and forgot to do your homework last night. Not to mention you didn’t get much sleep either. To top it off you also have your least favorite subject first hour. 

When your morning is less than stellar, the people you’re surrounded by can make it better. Teachers and other students can make or break your day. A stressed and up-tight teacher can lead to a tense class period, especially if you aren’t feeling well to begin with. But, a happy teacher who seems much more mellow and understanding can make your tough morning not so bad.

Studies have shown that teachers who put in the effort to connect and make their students feel more comfortable lead to more student engagement. 

Loy Norrix English teacher Lisa Jensen is one of those teachers who has gone the extra mile to make her students feel comfortable in her classroom.

“I feel like everybody should be seen in the curriculum, and every culture and background should be celebrated and that is my number one thing,” said Jensen.

Senior Curtis Chapman II said that Jensen is his favorite teacher here at Norrix.

“She’ll make us feel better about our day no matter what. She focuses more on trying to provide a safe and good space where we can talk about our personal issues without fearing harsh judgment from her,” Chapman said. 

According to an article on Inclusive Classroom Climate from the Poorvu Center for Teaching and Learning, “Students should be supported intellectually and academically, and should be extended a sense of belonging in the classroom regardless of identity, learning preferences, or education.” 

Students should not only feel supported in their learning but also in the classroom environment. Students who can rely on their teachers to make them feel supported and welcomed are more likely to participate in class, focus on work and respect their environment and peers. Teachers should not only focus on curriculum but their students as well.

“My first priority is relationships. I don’t think students will learn from me unless they know me as a person and I know them as a person,” said Jensen.

Jensen has strived to bond with her students on much more than just an academic level. Walking into her classroom during lunch you’ll find students laughing and chatting, conversing with each other and with Jesen herself.

Junior Zander Ligman said that his band teacher, Aaron Mirakovits is his favorite teacher at LN.

“I have had him as a teacher for six years. I like his teaching style, and I’ve known him long enough to joke around with him. He also always has a plan for what we’re going to work on during class,” said Ligman.

Band is a year-long course. Almost all of the students in the band class have known Mirakovits for years and extra time with him lets his students get closer to him.

Freshman Issac Patrick enjoys his classes with English and public speaking teacher Joe Kitzman the most. 

“My favorite part of Mr. Kitzman’s class is the advice he gives. A lot of it I have integrated into my everyday life,” said Patrick

Patrick also stated that English is not his favorite subject in school, but Kitzman tries his best to make the subject interesting for everyone and that he relates things from class to students’ everyday lives.

Junior Joshua Synder also agrees that English is not an enjoyable subject for him, but his teacher, Colby Cuppernull, makes the class more bearable.

“He is a very funny and interactive teacher who tells amazing stories. His style of teaching works best with me personally and he’s just a real guy,” said Synder.  

A teacher can make a striking difference in a student and their work ethic. For both the better and the worst. 

Freshman Rosalie Hill didn’t want to do anything when her teacher seemed to pick on her constantly. 

“I used to act out sometimes, and I had a teacher who seemed like he really hated me and he would single me out a lot. He made me want to act out more because he would single me out so much,” said Hill.

Teachers can be a good friend to their students, but they also can be their biggest bullies. 

Hill said that she didn’t want to participate in class anymore because she felt she would get in trouble for it. When Hill felt her teacher didn’t like her, she ended up putting less effort in the class.

Even though a student may have to sit through a subject they may find boring and uninteresting, a teacher that is fun, relatable, and interesting, can make the class hour pass faster.