Educator of The Year | Teen Ink

Educator of The Year

November 14, 2008
By Anonymous

An educator is someone who is not only fun, caring, and hardworking, but someone who goes above and beyond what is required of them. Mr. Paul does just that. I had the privilege of seeing two sides of Mr. Paul because I had him as a coach and as a teacher.

When I first stepped out onto the soccer field freshman year, I saw what appeared to be a drill sergeant, with a clipboard in hand. He was intimidating, however spending just five minutes with Mr. Paul, our entire team could tell he was anything but. He made us laugh constantly, always coming up with new ways to help us understand exactly what we were supposed to do. His sarcastic sense of humor made us all eager to go to practice each day. Mr. Paul shared stories about his life and listened to ours as well. He was genuinely interested in our opinions. He broke down the barriers normally found between teenagers and adults and talked to us as equals. He let us know that failure was okay, but also that there was always something we could have done better.
Each year, our soccer program volunteers to help others who are less fortunate than we are. Even though Mr. Paul no longer coaches girl’s soccer, he still runs the fundraiser. He was so passionate about helping other people that we all became inspired. He pushed us to be the very best we possibly could in all aspects of our lives.
We were all disappointed when our season came to an end. Although we didn’t win every game, we had improved immensely and had fun along the way.
Not only was Mr. Paul an exceptional coach, he is also a phenomenal teacher. My junior year I had Mr. Paul for Economics. I will never forget the first day of class. The first thing he did was ask the class if we had any idea what economics was. After several minutes of guessing, no one knew. I remember watching Mr. Paul laugh because nobody knew what economics was, but somehow we had all decided to take the class. From that moment, I knew this was going to be a fun semester.
Mr. Paul could have stood in front of the room and lectured us all semester. He could have made us take page after page of notes. But, he didn’t. He related everything in economics to our lives. He used examples that we would be able to understand and remember. He used examples involving soda and chips to explain opportunity cost. He created games and activities for us that would allow us to have fun and learn at the same time. We played strategy games in which we had to put together different types of resources to make a product. We had to buy and sell the resources to create as many finished products as possible. His unique teaching style allowed us to learn and enjoy ourselves at the same time. I actually looked forward to going to class each day.
I am fortunate enough to have gotten to know the many sides of Mr. Paul over the last few years. He has been more than just a coach and a teacher. He has been a mentor, an advisor, and a friend. He does whatever he can to help his students succeed. I am so grateful for all he has taught me. I am nominating him for this award because I truly believe he deserves it.

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