Noah Busch named USD 383 teacher of the year

Kris Long, Staff Writer

It’s important to appreciate all teachers; however, it is undeniable that some teachers put more into their work than others. The teachers who put a particularly high degree of their time and energy into their job deserve to be recognized. This is certainly the case with freshman grade Biology teacher Noah Busch.

Busch was nominated to be one of USD 383 teachers of the year for the 2019-2020 academic year, along with Woodrow Wilson’s sixth grade teacher Kelly Carmody.

Busch was the nominee from East Campus. Every building in the district nominates one teacher, and was eventually chosen as one of the district teachers of the year for his work in the way science is taught at MHS. He qualified for Kansas State Teacher of the Year but was not nominated.

Busch has brought major changes to the way Biology is taught to Manhattan High freshman in the past seven years he has been teaching.

“I focus less on teaching biology and more on thinking like a scientist,” Busch said. “I want my students — the content is important — but I want my students leaving [freshman  Biology] to be able to think like a scientist, to be able to look at a problem and to be able to develop solutions … The answer is sometimes not the most important thing, it’s the journey to an answer. How you get an answer is more important than the answer itself.”

To Busch, the way students could better appreciate teachers is to put the work into thinking through an answer. A teacher’s job is to make sure students not only know the information but understand the content of a class. Students should, instead of just working hard enough to know the correct answer, work to understand why the answer is what it is.

Another way students could show appreciation for teachers is by not stressing about whether or not the answer is correct. According to Busch, students learn faster from their mistakes than from confirming what they already thought. Therefore, when students are afraid to be wrong, they don’t get as much as they could out of they took the risk of answering incorrectly.

“Probably the most important part [of being a good student is being] okay with being wrong and willing to do the work that it takes to justify [what]  an answer is,” Busch said.