Teacher Feature: Stacy Kissel
Finland. Japan. Taiwan. The Czech Republic. These places only give a small glimpse into the many countries that travel-enthusiast and freshman physics teacher Stacy Kissel has visited. For the second semester of the school year, Kissel will embark on yet another journey, this one to China, as a part of the China Exchange.
The creative teaching methods in Kissel’s class have allowed her to construct a classroom that goes beyond the conventional methods of teaching science. Her classes don’t revolve around a textbook like most science classes do. Instead, she tries to make class as close to real life as possible, and as interesting as she can.
“During the electricity unit we talked about why there’s a little box on the end of the cord which you use to plug in your phone, whereas when you plug in a lamp it’s just the prongs that go in the wall. We also talked about why you need a travel adapter when you travel. So I definitely like to make class relevant and fun with lots of hands on activities,” Kissel said.
The creativity in her lessons is appreciated by freshman Lydia Richardson, a student in Kissel’s class. According to Richardson, Kissel’s real life way of teaching physics makes it so that class is fun and interesting. Projects, videos and different interactive activities have made Kissel’s class entertaining and educational at the same time.
“Everything will be a lot harder when Ms. Kissel leaves for China. She made learning fun and interactive,” Richardson said.
Junior Christian Pagounis has gone through a similar teacher shift, as his freshman year physics teacher also went to China.
“It was a hard shift from my original teacher to the long-term substitute teacher because I wasn’t used to her teaching style and initially things were a little chaotic in the classroom,” Pagounis said. “However, as the course went on the students and the teacher adjusted to each other more and things went more smoothly.”
Kissel is looking forward to both the challenges and great experiences she will have as a teacher in a foreign country. In China, Kissel will leave her familiar role and will teach both history and English to her group of eight students on the trip.
“I don’t exactly know how to grade essays and research papers since grading a physics test or lab is very different from giving back students an essay,” Kissel said. “I wouldn’t say that I’m necessarily afraid of it but it will just be a different from what I’m used to.”
Despite this, Kissel is looking forward to the many great experiences she will have on the trip.
“I’m looking forward to getting to know eight students very well, whereas when I am teaching a class of 24 students, you certainly get to know them but its not to the same level that I will get to know my students on the trip. I am also excited to live with the host family,” Kissel said.
Richardson, along with many other students of Kissel, are sad to see her go.
“Ms. Kissel is one of my favorite teachers and no one can replace her. I’m really gonna miss her when she’s gone,” Richardson said.