Profile: Holzhausen’s “relaxed,” “Personal” style of teaching reaches students

by Caleb Curry/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Ms. Holzhausen reviews prefixes and suffixes with her class. Photo by Caleb Curry

English teacher Ms. Jennifer Holzhausen has been teaching for twenty years. In those twenty years she has had many students, and taught many topics. When she is teaching she does not see her students as just students, she sees them as people. These qualities are why many students see her as such a great teacher.

Growing up, Ms. Holzhausen never had any intention of becoming a teacher. “I considered every other profession besides teaching until it hit me between the eyes, that’s what I was supposed to do,” is how she put it. Without a thought in her mind about teaching while she was growing up, she continued on the career path of marketing. However that all changed one day when she was working and volunteered to help with a Girl Scout troop for a day. That is when she realized that she was having much more fun with the young girls than she ever did with any of her colleagues at work. On that day she decided she needed a profession where she could work with kids, and found that opportunity in teaching.

Her impression on her students can be seen throughout the day when she is teaching. “It is definitely one of my favorite classes to go to,” freshman Jake VanOsdol said. Other students have mentioned how she never seems to be in a bad mood, and always can find the time if you have questions. “The stuff she teaches always seems real, simple and straightforward,” freshman Kishan Patel says, which is a common trait that her students point out. “I think boiling it down to what’s real,” said Ms. Holzhausen when describing her best trait as a teacher.

The way Ms. Holzhausen teaches allows students to understand the concepts and gather information required. “I was nervous about a test we had,” VanOsdol said, “however, Ms. Holzhausen gave us plenty of time to review and ask questions before we took it, so thanks to her I had no reason to panic.” Students talked about how they have not been overly stressed or worried about assignments and tests in her class.

“I want my students to know that I care about them as people,” is how Ms. Holzhausen described the way she teaches. Patel brought up how her class always seemed more laid back and relaxed. A laid-back and relaxed teaching style comes from her love of the job. Ms. Holzhausen does not just love her job for the subject she teaches, but for the students she meets. Ms. Holzhausen talked about how her favorite aspect of teaching was to help students learn who they were and to watch them grow over the time they spent in the classroom. 

“I enjoy going to the class for the way she teaches it, not necessarily the material,” Patel said. VanOsdol’s statement further proved Patel’s point when VanOsdol said, “Before this year I had never really looked forward to going to reading class.” Ms. Holzhausen’s classroom environment is said to be much different than  most other classes in the school. The more relaxed and personal  style likely will lead to a more successful class, and students looking forward to going to class everyday. “So far she is one of my favorite teachers at the high school,” VanOsdol said.