In today's Teacher Tributes there is a Southern Arizona English teacher that really makes stories come alive.
Students at Tucson Magnet
High School say Suzanne Hall isn't your typical English teacher, she has a way
of making you taste and feel the words on a page. Many students describe her as the ‘cool'
"She has a real connection with us and talks like I understand," said Ben Watchman, one of Hall's students. "She'll come up to us as a friend too, and give us advice even though she's our teacher."
You can see why. English teacher Hall is up and moving just about the entire class period, talking to each group, making sure everyone is on the same page and gets the material. After all Greek literature can be pretty tough.
"I think it helps me understand because I can form my opinion. The way I work is when I hear someone else I get ideas from it and then it helps me flow more freely," said freshman Jezbeth Garajsk, another of Hall's students.
Hall keeps her kids interested by constantly changing things up, she know not everyone learns the same way.
"In an English classroom kids who are very linguistically strong, this is a cake walk for them. They think in words, they work in words. There are other kids in this class who are exceptionally gifted in other areas and they're at a perpetual disadvantage because everything is word based, so for that child to be able to represent their understanding of the material visually or through collaboration," said Hall
And for those students just take a look around, they've painted the walls with their interpretation of the stories they've read. And it's funny how no two students see things the same.
Hall certainly hopes all of this active learning will take them far in the future.
She says all of her activities are designed to strengthen their speaking and writing skills, assets she says make for successful leaders.
"Mrs. Hall has a fun way of teaching things," said Jezbeth Garajsk. "She doesn't make it boring. It's not just a lot of book work we're actually doing hands-on things."
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