Teacher Feature: French teacher Holly Bumgardner

Sophomore Zoey Stockdale has some awesome things to say about her French teacher, Madame Holly Bumgardner. According to Stockdale, Madame B is like the coolest teacher ever!

“Madame B is a very patient and understanding teacher,” Stockdale said with a big smile. “She makes coming to class fun instead of dreadful.”

Stockdale had been sick and missed a bunch of school, but Madame B helped her catch up and made everything less stressful.

“I was absent from school for a while, and Madame B managed to make the return to school less stressful and help me get back on track,” Stockdale explained, her eyes lighting up.

Stockdale said Madame B is super chill and makes learning easier by giving different ways to understand stuff.

“She is a very laid-back teacher and makes everything easier,” Stockdale said.

What Stockdale loves most is that Madame B lets them talk to each other during class. She said it’s like having a fun chat while learning cool French stuff.

“She lets us talk to our classmates to allow for a deeper understanding,” Stockdale said.

Meanwhile, Bumgardner said she tries to make the classroom a happy place where everyone feels welcome. She really doesn’t like when people are disrespectful, and she wants everyone to feel good about learning.

“I try to create a positive classroom environment by building a strong classroom community and making every student feel welcomed and supported,” Bumgardner said.

Reflecting on her students’ perception of her, Bumgardner humbly acknowledged that not everyone may love her, but she cares about her students a lot.

“While I’m sure I’m not everyone’s cup of tea, I think my students at least understand that I care about them and want to see them succeed in life,” she said. “My goal is to help students realize they’re important and what they think matters.”

Recalling memorable moments in her teaching career, Bumgardner shared a story about a student who told her that her class was the reason they kept coming to school. It made her day.

As for keeping students motivated, Bumgardner emphasized transparency and student empowerment. She likes giving them a say in what they do in class.

“I’m very transparent about why I plan things the way I do,” she sids. “Additionally, I use student voice and choice whenever possible.”

Amidst the challenges of teaching, Bumgardner acknowledged the struggle to maintain a work-life balance.

“One challenge I face is how teachers have a never-ending to-do list,” she admitted. “I’ve had to learn how to prioritize tasks to set boundaries between my work and personal life.”

Through dedication, empathy and a commitment to student-centered learning, Bumgardner continues to be an amazing teacher who inspires and supports her students at Cedar Falls High School. And Stockdale? Well, she’s lucky to have such a cool teacher like Madame B!

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