The Apache Pow Wow

Thank you, Mrs. Landis!

Jolene Huey, Sage Guzman

“In just eight weeks into high school, I have found a fantastic teacher who greatly impacts me. This teacher is Mrs. Landis, a passionate and talented English teacher who inspires me to do my best everyday.

In my view, Mrs. Landis is truly an inspirational teacher. On most days, the classroom experience is exciting. Once, when we began working on a research article about people who overcame difficulties, she showed a video about a person who was born without legs. The video’s originality and insightfulness grabbed our interest and attention. Afterwards, the classroom was filled with lively discussion. In addition, Mrs. Landis encourages students to perform above and beyond. When she assigned a writing prompt, she gave us thought-provoking questions that led us to think more creatively. My class doesn’t just learn about persuasive, argumentative, and informative types of writing–we learn how these writing styles can be applied. For example, we analyzed how professional writers use these styles to convey a theme and convince readers to support their cause. Mrs. Landis’ instructions give me a sense of direction. Her clarity enables me to write better and work more efficiently. She also provides constructive criticism that is both practical and understandable. Students can use this sound advice to tackle their next writing assignment. As ideas that were once confusing become clearer, students become motivated to polish their writing skills.

Mrs. Landis is a superb teacher because she is so understanding. She accepts everyone’s ideas with an open mind. Many times, students will share ideas that at first seem unusual or out-of-the-box. She patiently listens and tries to understand each student’s perspective. In these ways, Mrs. Landis allows students to express their own original viewpoints and encourages them to think broadly and independently. Realizing that students learn differently, Mrs. Landis uses a wide array of teaching methods. For visual learners, she displays information using powerpoints and videos. Once, when the class was reading a story that was set in a catacomb, she showed videos that toured these underground cemeteries. The visual format helps bring the concepts to life. For auditory learners, Mrs. Landis gives instructions orally, explains concepts in greater detail, and conducts many group discussions. And for the kinesthetic learners, she creates charts and diagrams that the student can fill-in with notes. Furthermore, she encourages using flashcards for rapid learning and information retention. These strategies are very effective for helping students better understand the curriculum being taught. Furthermore, Mrs. Landis applies her humor to the class setting and captures her students’ interests. She references material outside of class so students can understand concepts on a global basis. As a humorous individual, she comes off as really down-to-earth, and students are able to connect with her.

I am very fortunate to have Mrs. Landis as a teacher. She is a fantastic individual who is inspiring, engaging, and understanding. She has made a great difference in my learning, which will continue to impact me for many years to come.”  —Jolene Huey, Pow Wow, Writer

“It’s 1:44 p.m and the bell rings. Just one more class, I would usually think to myself. Except I’m in MrsLandis’ 6th period english class. As soon as I enter room D-105 I can immediately feel a weight being lifted off my chest. A positive aura of laughter and fresh ideas relieves the fatigue of my day. I find my seat (which is perfectly centered in the room, might I add) and meet my classmates.  We ask about each other’s days joke around a bit-but the best is yet to come. The real fun starts as soon as MrsLandis walks through the door and greets us with a beaming smile: a big green light allowing us to be our true, authentic selves;to share our ideas confidently, and assertively. In this class, our opinions are valued. Original thought is cherished. MrsLandis teaches us to build on our gut feelings and follow our creative calling.

     Never in the history of my school career have I been so motivated to finish the last class of the day. This class feels less like an assignment ,and more like a safe space. I love english in general, but having a teacher as enthusiastic about her job as MrsLandis is, is beneficial beyond words. Not only does she encourage us, but she helps us grow. In my short time at AHS, I’ve found her class to be a safe space, a school home-one where I’m accepted and valued for my views on whatever we’re learning. Whether we’re reading “Cask of Amontillado”, or “The Scarlet Ibis”, MrsLandis appeals the material to our interests.

Although my classmates and I respect MrsLandis greatly, the usual sense of formality and cordiality seems to fade when we’re interacting with her. I for one, don’t feel like “just a kid” anymore. I feel that the respect I show, can and will be reciprocated. She is there for us academically, but also as a friend. Teacher appreciation month is for all teachers, but especially ones like MrsLandis, who uplifts and pushes her students to their full potential. Matter of fact, I have her class next. I could not be more thrilled.”  —Sage Guzman, Pow Wow, Writer

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Thank you, Mrs. Landis!