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November’s Teacher of the Month Won By Mrs.Benzawi!

Rania Jones

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In early November, votes were taken and calculated on who were the students favorite teachers this month, and Mrs.Benzawi was voted the most favored.

“I feel appreciated and excited to have been chosen! It’s very thoughtful and kind of my students to think of me. Thanks friends!” Mrs.Benzawi says.

Mrs.Benzawi has been teaching for six years. She completed her student teaching at South Lakes High School. She taught at South Lakes for over two years and this will be her third year teaching at Mount Vernon High School.

Since her family is from Morocco, she has played the role of an English teacher ever since she was young. She often had to take up the responsibility to be the “translator,” or assist her parents with information that may require reading and writing in English.

“My parents are both completely fluent now, yet they still have me make phone calls, or take me to the doctor’s office with them because I “fill out the forms so fast!” I loved having the ability to help them, and seeing their joy when my English skills could relieve a little stress.”

Mrs.Benzawi feels that teaching English and literature allows for more creativity within the subject matter and in using a variety of  materials. “I’m definitely glad I made that choice!” She expresses.

Though she believes teaching can be challenging, that is exactly what she loves about it.

I enjoy working hard and overcoming obstacles. I would be miserably bored in a job that isn’t stimulating or interactive.”

Mrs.Benzawi’s favorite aspects of teaching include creating personal connections, watching students actively engage in learning, and mastering skills.

“It’s an amazing feeling to know that your words and actions have impacted a student’s knowledge and understanding.”

Mrs.Benzawi’s least favorite aspect of teaching is having to reprimand students for their behavior; she believes it ruins the positivity going on in the classroom. To say the least, she is not a fan.

A special love goes out to her Major Time students. She believes that her Major Time students and her are a family. “I think the reason we are so open and honest with each other is due to mutual respect.We acknowledge the hard work that goes into being a student AND a teacher.”

From the beginning, she wanted them to know that as their Major Time teacher, she is more than just the person that signs passes and collects forms. She wanted them to feel comfortable coming to her for anything, even if it’s just talking about how their week is going. “I genuinely care about them, and I can’t wait to see how they continue to grow as individuals.”

Mrs. Benzawi tries to understand what students at Mount Vernon are going through as individuals. She is an FCPS graduate, and she has been through the same IB programs, taken the same SOLs, and passed the same classes.

I’ve felt just as overwhelmed as them, and if we both have a little patience, we can get through it. I want students to avoid feeling overwhelmed, and know that I am an outlet for them, whether it be coming to my room to work in a comfortable environment, or just venting about how they feel. I don’t consider myself a tough teacher, but I definitely hold my students to certain standards. If I can work hard, so can you.”

She conveys how her students expect her to be prepared, hardworking, dedicated, and focused. In return, she expects the same.

“I want them to know that we should both care about their education; we should both be willing to work for what we want, and we should both respect each other.”

Mrs. Benzawi finds that balance by trying to be as understanding as she can, as she knows exactly how they feel. She wants not just her students- any student- to receive the education that they need and to find success in their young lives. To say that she is a role model for us all would be an understatement.

If you would like to vote for who your favorite teacher is for the month of December, please send in your requests through your major time teacher by the 16th, so the journalism staff can count your vote. Every vote matters! Let your teachers know how much you appreciate them! Go Majors!

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The Student News Site of Mount Vernon High School
November’s Teacher of the Month Won By Mrs.Benzawi!