Nott your average teacher: A closer look at the Language Arts teacher Ms. Nott


Laura Kirkendall, Staff Writer

“I admire her desire to work hard to create a comfortable setting in the classroom so that all the students can express themselves openly,” says Rachel Sherman (12). “[Ms. Nott] is the coolest teacher I have had so far, I think because she teaches well and makes literature fun,” says Maya Ganapathy (12). As English teacher of 20 years at Portage Northern, and head of three clubs, Ms. Nott is dedicated to her job. It seems as if no task is too big for her. The students realize this and speak highly of her as a teacher and person. The praises do not stop, as all students who have encountered Ms. Nott know the great qualities she obtains. “She is honestly the sweetest lady ever and is just so willing to help you,” says Emily Juzwiak (12). “She will go out of her way to help you achieve what you are trying to achieve.” Ms. Nott works hard everyday to make sure her students can succeed, offering them any help they may need.

While students love Ms. Nott, she loves her job because of her students. Her favorite aspect of teaching is “the positive energy and intellectual curiosity of students,” says Ms. Nott. That same energy she sees in kids today is what made her want to teach. Students admire the same about her, as her energy creates a welcoming environment in the classroom.

Not only does Ms. Nott provide academic support, but also any support a student might need. “If you are having a problem and are upset about something, she makes it her problem,” says Ganapathy. She cares about each of her students as if they were her own kids. “She makes you feel like you can talk to her and [she can] understand what you are going through,” says Sherman.

Ms. Nott also takes time outside of school hours to head Peace Jam, Gay Straight Alliance, as well as League of Legends Video Game Club, three clubs offered here at Portage Northern. She puts effort into running these clubs because “the students are willing to make it happen,” says Ms. Nott. “The more opportunities we allow students to feel a sense of belonging, the more likely they will feel comfortable at school, and in turn, the greater the chance that learning will happen,” says Ms. Nott.

Aside from all she does at school, Ms. Nott still finds time to spend with her husband Robin, and two daughters Sarah and Emily. She enjoys activities outdoors, including gardening, skiing, hiking, and camping. She also writes and reads in her free time. “I hope [my students] will be inspired to read or write themselves,” says Ms. Nott. “Beyond that, that they might take a broader view of the world around them as a result of reading great literature.” Her passion for literature is obvious in every class she teaches, and if her students take a small piece of that same passion, they fulfill her hope for them.

Ms. Nott’s efforts surpass what is expected of a teacher, showing her students she cares about their lives and their success. “She does not try to be something else, she is just herself,” says Kaija Griffin (12). Ms. Nott is not only a teacher, but also a club advisor, wife, mother, and amazing person in all she does. Her constant effort to help all her students is just one of the reasons why I, and other students, believe Ms. Nott is not your average teacher.