Golden Apple teacher uses acting to help students understand material

Golden Apple Award recipient Stefanie Jochman teaches an English class at Notre Dame Academy in Green Bay, March 15, 2016. (WLUK/Courtney Ryan)

At Notre Dame Academy in Green Bay, teacher Stefanie Jochman is known by her students for making learning interactive.

Jochman is a 2016 Golden Apple Award recipient. She teaches English to seniors and juniors.

In her classroom, Jochman uses acting to help students understand the plays they are reading.

"She is really enthusiastic about teaching and she really makes it fun," said senior Elise Witmer.

Jochman has been teaching English at Notre Dame for nearly a decade.

"I feel like my energy has to boost the energy of the room and I'm a total nerd when it comes to my subject, so I think that comes out in the classroom. Even if the kids aren't thrilled about it, they'll look at me and go, 'well, she really likes it so I think I'll go along with it,'" said Jochman.

Jochman said she wants to make the material relatable to her students.

"They've got a big future ahead of them, so that is something to work with and to remind them, here is what we are doing and how it is going to relate to your future," Jochman explained.

One way she does that is by splitting her students into groups so they can talk about the material with their peers before they act it out.

"She makes it one of my favorite subjects. It's hard to have such a dynamic teacher and not like the class," said senior Cole Chronowski.

Students added Jochman's influence extends beyond the classroom.

"I struggled with English my freshman and sophomore year, and it's something I really love now," Witmer said. "I've been writing short stories out of class, I've been going to poetry readings. It's definitely had an effect on me."

Jochman says teaching isn't always easy.

"My students challenge me every day to keep getting better," she said.

However, she says it's rewarding.

Jochman is the first teacher from Notre Dame Academy to win a Golden Apple Award.

FOX 11's Tom Milbourn and Michelle Melby kicked off the nomination period for the 23rd annual Golden Apple Awards in November.

The Teachers of Distinction were announced in February and thefinal list of Golden Apple recipients was announced in March.

This year's Golden Apple Awards ceremony is set for April 20. Click here to register to attend the awards program.

The Golden Apple Awards are a program of the Greater Green Bay Chamber, with support from major sponsors.

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