Teaching is hard work, and teaching middle school might be the hardest of all.
But the kids appreciate the teachers who do so much for them -- even though they don't always show it. Students at Jefferson Middle School in Villa Park wrote heartfelt letters to their favorite teachers earlier this month in honor of National Teacher Appreciation Week.
Gloria Ramirez-Solis, language arts
My favorite teacher is Ms. Ramirez. She is my favorite because she is nice and funny at the same time. She makes class fun and has a fun and exciting daily plan for the students. She works hard at her job to make us happy. She always lightens my day by saying something funny. She also listens to you. Lastly, she is always there for you so you don't feel like you're alone because Ms. Ramirez is always there for me and everyone else.
-- Patrycja Bednarz, Grade 6
Allison Kruzic, resource teacher
My favorite teacher at Jefferson is Mrs. Kruzic because she is very smart, fun, kind and funny. She is also very, very lenient on homework. She is very, very, very trustworthy. She always is willing to help us with our work. She tries to stay calm and never gets mad. She also tries to do something fun at the end of class. For all of these reasons, I believe that Mrs. Kruzic is the very best teacher in this school today.
-- Jacob Kolb, Grade 7
Gary Lopez, industrial arts
I will have to say that Mr. Lopez is my favorite teacher. Mr. Lopez can be very tricky and sly with his industrial arts classes. He is also humorous. Mr. Lopez is thankfully very strict. That's what kids need, good discipline. Mr. Lopez is also very helpful. He not only helps with just woodworking, he teaches life skills like responsibility and safety. My point being, Mr. Lopez is a great teacher and is my favorite.
-- Austin Floistad, Grade 6
Mr. Lopez's industrial arts class has taught me how to be safe around tools, how to use them properly and how to create some of the coolest projects ever. He is truly an extraordinary teacher who is also funny and nice but firm when he needs to be. His class has taught me many skills that I will take with me into the future. I can't wait for what he has in store for us next. He is truly an amazing teacher.
-- Christopher Roder, Grade 7
Industrial arts is the class that gets me through the day. I have never had a teacher like Mr. Lopez and I do not know if I ever will. This I why I think he is one of the best teachers.
-- Josh Bay, Grade 8
Daniel Super, social studies
I think Mr. Super is the best teacher in the school. I think this because he makes learning fun and easy. Mr. Super does this because he relates what we're learning to what we like. For example, when we learned about copyright, instead of showing books and papers, he showed us music. This helped me learn because it kept me interested. Another reason I think he's the best teacher is because he makes learning easy. Mr. Super makes learning easy because he makes hard stuff simple and he reviews it. For example, when we learned about the U.S. Constitution, he reviewed everything for about five minutes every day for a week. Seeing the words and pictures every day made it stay in my head and helped me remember. Those are the reasons why I think Mr. Super is the best teacher at Jefferson.
-- Iqra Majid, Grade 7
Mr. Super is my favorite teacher ever! He always is funny. If I could have one teacher teach me the rest of my life I would choose Mr. Super. He is really good at explaining things but he does it in a fun way which makes it fun and easy to learn. I love my teacher Mr. Super.
-- Victoria Vargas, Grade 7
Rachel Kayser, orchestra
This is my first year at Jefferson Middle School. During my time here I met several great teachers. I would like to tell you about one teacher who made a difference in my life. I've been taught by Mrs. Kayser even before I went to this school. At first I had no idea what to do with my instrument. She took what little talent I had and made it work. She has helped me understand how to play an instrument and read music. Now I feel confident that I could learn any instrument. I felt so confident this year, I picked up a second instrument. Mrs. Kayser is the best orchestra teacher I could've asked for. I wish I couldn't just have her in middle school, but have her for high school and college too. I am so glad that Mrs. Kayser teaches at our school.
-- Melinda Boehm, Grade 6
Tammy Schmidt, health assistant
When you ask someone to tell about a favorite faculty member, you immediately look at more of the "important teachers." Well, when we got asked this question we knew exactly who to pick. Not a secretary or a custodian, but our health aide, Mrs. Schmidt. There is so much to say about this wonderful woman. She takes care of our health, keeps confidential things and helps us with embarrassing moments. We know Mrs. Schmidt is someone you can always count on. It's nice to know that when you're sick there's always a smiling face to get you through the day. Mrs. Schmidt is perfect as our school health aide because she always puts the students before herself. She has known us for three years and she knows when we are truly sick or just trying to get out of class. (We'd never do that.) When we say Mrs. Schmidt is trustworthy, we don't mean the other teachers aren't. She just has a bigger impact on us. We trust her with our health issues and know she will keep a secret. Knowing that we don't get to see her next year makes it even harder to graduate from Jefferson. The most wonderful thing about her is that she really cares.
-- Gianna DelPorto and Gloria Blass, Grade 8
Andrea Sciullo, reading specialist
Mrs. Sciullo is my favorite teacher because she helps me. She helps me with checking out at the end of the day so I have all my supplies. She gives me folders for my homework so that I stay organized. She wants to make sure that when I get home I am ready to work. She is a great teacher because she helps us understand things. She makes sure we are paying attention in class and makes us do our best. I really like her because she is smiling when I see her in the hallway and she always looks happy. She also helps me calm down when I am upset. She talks to me and helps me relax. I know she worries about me and that means she cares. I think she is a great teacher because nobody misbehaves in her class. It is calm and peaceful in there. This helps us get a lot of learning done.
-- Alexa Henderson, Grade 7
Christina Wallbruch, band
Mrs. Wallbruch is the greatest band director. She is a kind and understanding teacher. She has brought out the best saxophone player in me. She always challenges us to be better and we try to make her proud. It is amazing how much I have accomplished in a few short years with her direction. The school is a better place because it has music in it. I enjoy coming to the band room and playing my best and hearing how well we all sound together. She really brings out the best in all of us. And she has taught us so much. She is truly a patient and amazing band director.
-- Christopher Roder, Grade 7
Robert Schoonveld, science
Mr. Schoonveld is an awesome science teacher. His labs are amazing. I really enjoy the ones with fire and explosions. Students enjoy his class because he relates well to us and always keeps us wondering. You never know what he is going to do. One day he let us take video of him blowing fire out of his mouth. His humor and excitement makes everyone attentive because you don't want to miss out on something. He is hilarious and we have fun in his class.
-- Jacob Henderson, Grade 8
Kathleen Kocimski, math
A teacher I truly think deserves to be written about is Mrs. Kocimski. She dedicates so much of her time to helping people with math. She lets us come before and after school, she even lets you come during her lunch period. She knows how to make math fun with catchy math songs and sayings. She always has a smile on her face and has a perky attitude. I really feel that she is the one who makes me enjoy math. She also gives us a second chance on every test or quiz because she cares about our grades. She always is ready to explain things to anyone who is confused. If she gets to read this, I hope she knows how wonderful this class is and it is the only class besides industrial arts that I look forward to.
-- Stephanie Wohnrade, Grade 8
Mrs. Kocimski has changed the way I think about math! I didn't like math until you became my teacher. I have improved so much that my parents don't have to help me anymore. Whenever I need help with something, you are always there for me. You understand my personality, which helps a lot. You also make math fun because you are very humorous! You make me laugh when we do equations. Every day I cannot wait to get to your class. You are the one that made me love math and nobody else achieved that. I will miss you once I graduate next month. When I graduate, I will always remember that you were such a fantastic and enthusiastic teacher. She was my favorite teacher this year!
-- Katie Greene, Grade 8
Anne Blyth, resource teacher
I appreciate Mrs. Blyth because she rocks and she is patient with the students. She does not yell that much. I think that she has helped me lots of times. I love her a lot!
-- Michell Arellano, Grade 6
The teacher that I appreciate is Mrs. Blyth. She is a very kind and caring person because she helps you with your problems and even helps you to get out of them. She talks kindly without yelling. She tries to help you with her homework and other things. Mrs. Blyth also gives you things like prizes from a raffle or a game. She lets you borrow books, pens and other things. She loves all of us. I really appreciate her a lot.
-- Sandra Macias, Grade 6
Allan Derr, science
I appreciate Mr. Derr a lot. He is trustworthy, helpful and a good friend. He is fun to talk to and is very supportive. He is also a wonderful teacher. He makes it fun and informational. We are finishing the year very well. I am glad he is my teacher and I hope to talk to him even when I am not in his class. I appreciate him very much and I wanted him to know it.
-- Ali Saleh, Grade 6
Last but not least
(Kristen Springer, language arts; Matthew Kulovits, family and consumer science; Janine Pickett, language arts; Daniel Super, social studies; Kathy Smith, science)
My favorite teachers are Mrs. Springer, Mr. Kulovits, Mrs. Pickett and lastly Mr. Super and Mrs. Smith. They are all good teachers and are very awesome at their jobs. These teachers make learning fun even though it might not always be. These teachers make it possible to even laugh while learning. Mrs. Smith always has fun experiments that we enjoy.
-- Katie Ricchetti, Grade 7