Teacher in a classroom calling on students with raised hands

Originally published April 12

In big bold Times New Roman font the words “Future Business Leaders of America Job Interview” stare back at me. The little fancy flicks at the end of the font taunt me with entitlement as if they are smirking at me knowing I’m going to place last in the high school competition. This interview is making me so delirious that I think the letters have a vendetta against me! The thought of drafting my resume and cover letter makes my gut glob to the ground. However, there is one person I know I can turn to for advice: Mr. Prell. Mr. Prell has never backed down from any challenge that I’ve thrown his way. He has even helped me fill out my W-4 work form. The mere fact that he went from auditor to restaurant owner to business teacher to computer science teacher shows his adaptability. 

For one entire month, I was a regular in Mr. Prell’s classroom – resource; study hall; after school; you name it I was there. I definitely overstayed my welcome, but not once did he complain. He sat with me watching over my shoulder as I learned the inner workings of a resume and cover letter. He would deliver my drafts of paper with mounds of scribbled red inked corrections and his latest tips and tricks from his online research. One might start to fear red ink with the amount of corrections Mr. Prell scribbled on my papers, but I didn’t because he delivers feedback with calculated humor. That is the definition of a teacher who is willing to go above and beyond for a student. Although I didn’t end up advancing to the next round of interviews, I gained a new pillar in my life. That was a feat to be celebrated. 

Mr. Prell taught me how to write a brilliant cover letter and resume, but more importantly he taught me how to live my life exhibiting those skills written down. He showed through example by leading as an honest, problem-solving active listener. You know those people who you don’t talk to for a couple months or even years, but when you meet up again it’s just like normal? That’s how it is with Mr. Prell. I haven’t had a class with him for over a year, but I know if I came to him with a problem he would dedicate time to work through it with me and I would extend the same effort. To my current knowledge, I have no interest in pursuing computer science, yet I am taking two courses next year so I can have him as a teacher. These are the types of educators that deserve to be celebrated during Teacher Appreciation Week.