Teacher of the week 11: Amber Wozniak
Teachers are real life superheroes. Every day, CHS teachers touch the lives of thousands of students, and their work extends beyond the boundaries of the classroom. To show appreciation for these teachers, the Crier asked students to identify teachers that have made a real impact in their lives. A new student and teacher will be featured each week.
This week, Mat Wozniak, ‘18, nominated German teacher Amber Wozniak–and no, they are not related. Wozniak happens to be a common Polish last name.
Mat Wozniak: Frau Wozniak makes learning a foreign language enjoyable and connects with her students very well. She explains topics well and has the patience to make sure everyone understands the material. She always plans fun activities, which is why I look forward to German class every day.
Crier: Why did you decide to teach German?
Frau Wozniak: I started learning German in high school because my grandfather was from Austria. I wanted to learn more about my heritage and where I was from. I continued German through college and eventually got my master’s in German Literature. Before coming to Conant, I taught German in Iowa and also at a college in Germany.
Crier: How was the teaching in Germany different from the teaching in America?
Frau Wozniak: It was very different. I taught at the Technical University of Dortmund. They had winter and summer semesters, which is not like American school at all. They also didn’t have any textbooks, so when I asked my students to buy some, they were very shocked. The classes also met once a week.
Crier: What type of classes did you teach at the Technical University of Dortmund?
Frau Wozniak: I focused on pop culture a lot, so I taught a class about the transatlantic migration of hip hop culture from the Bronx to Berlin. I taught how hip hop came to Germany and who fully embraced it. My other class was about the representation of teenagers in American as well as German literature.
Crier: When you were learning German did you ever study abroad?
Frau Wozniak: Yes, I did. I remember when I was first traveling. My flight was delayed, and once I arrived, my luggage was lost. I was alone with none of my bags, and everything from ordering food to riding the subway was so hard. That experience and the ones that came after definitely shaped me into who I am today and helped me become a better German speaker.
Crier: What are some of your favorite movies?
Frau Wozniak: I like watching “M,” which stands for murder. It’s a movie from the 1930’s. One of my other favorite movies is “Goodbye, Lenin,” a German tragicomedy film.
Crier: If you weren’t a teacher, what would you be?
Frau Wozniak: I would see myself doing something with food. I love cooking food, especially flavors from India. I’ve also been to China and had the ethnic cuisine there, and it’s amazing. So it if I weren’t a teacher, I’d be a chef or caterer.
To nominate a teacher who has made an impact in your life, click here.