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Ms. Petersen: A Safe Space

What does it take to be a great teacher?

The first year at a new school can be so scary and confusing for everyone, but having a teacher that you feel comfortable with can make everything less intimidating and more enjoyable. Students at Muscatine High School could easily agree that their “comfort teacher” is Ms. Petersen.

As of this year, it is Petersen’s 4th year teaching at Muscatine High School. She teaches English 9 and Pre AP English 10.
Prior to her teaching career, she spent time in the spring of 2020 doing some subbing before the COVID pandemic. Petersen stated, “I decided I wanted to teach English my junior year of high school and then stuck with it.”

Aside from this decision, what attributes inspired Petersen to carry through with teaching? “I’ve had so many wonderful teachers myself, and I’ve had the opportunity to work one-on-one with some incredible mentor teachers. I love going to conferences and collaborating with others,” stated Petersen.
The certain approaches that Petersen takes now as a teacher makes it a huge part of the reason why she is favored among students. “I’m big on learning names ASAP. I also make sure I am using preferred names, I pronounce names correctly, etc. I also make sure to say hello to students in the hallway. I give out high-fives.” Petersen’s connection to the students through small interactions like these can make students feel appreciated.

Petersen is mindful that she has her very own teaching style and that it’s different then other teachers. She likes to have a relaxed and conversational classroom environment, and loves getting to talk to her students.
She often shows her support to her students by making an effort to attend sporting events, musical showcases, and band competitions that they may be a part of.
Ms.Petersen has an account on TikTok. (@Callme_ms.p.) Most of her content consists of using fun filters, videos of her dogs, and fun experiences she’s had in her life! However something that she does differently from many teachers is that she posts small bits from inside the classroom.

Muscatine High School is lucky to have teachers like Ms. Petersen that make an impact on how students view school. Feeling comfortable in a environment with people who support you can make High School seem less difficult.

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About the Contributor
Kelsy Esmoil
Kelsy Esmoil, Writer
MHS / 2026'
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