Mr. Pasarilla, a teacher at Peachtree High School, instructs students in Advanced Placement (AP) Human Geography and Pre-AP World Geography. The majority of his students are freshman, and his teaching style serves as a great transition from the middle school environment into the wider world of high school.
Since I am former student of Mr. Pasarilla, I can personally attest to how he made the movement into a larger school flow more smoothly by being a caring, but rigorous teacher. Each Monday, Mr. Pasarilla takes time to ask students about their weekends, which seems like a relatively small step; however, the engagement with students goes a long way in establishing a bond between teacher and student. The bond makes the class more fun, while also making the student more comfortable in the new environment. One former student, Natalie Loung, talks of his interactions with Mr. Pasarilla in a positive light: “He took genuine interest in me as a student and person, and did not talk to me as if I was oblivious to the world. We could talk about politics just as easily as we could talk about our weekends”.
Along with forming a bond with his students, Mr. Pasarilla exposes students to the high school workload. His methods include textbook readings, worksheets, and projects, yet he always manages to make these tasks interesting for the students. One such occasion came when we were studying language: each student was told to choose a language, and present the origins of the language to the class. The part that made this project standout was that the student was encouraged to speak some phrases in the language, and bring in a traditional meal from the region in which the language is spoken. This is one of many examples of Mr. Pasarilla’s ability to have students enjoy the high school workload as they adjust to new school as a whole. Both his ability to form bonds with students and to introduce them to the rigors of freshman year contribute to why Mr. Pasarilla is the ideal teacher for students new to high school.