From Air Force One to Honors English I

Mr. Noote wants his texts – and his voices – to reflect his students in the classroom

Walking through aisles of students, Mr. Patrick Noote uses different voices while reading to engage his students every day.

Alayna Majkrzak

Walking through aisles of students, Mr. Patrick Noote uses different voices while reading to engage his students every day.

Alayna Majkrzak, Staff Writer

Students spend seven hours a day at school, but only 45 minutes with a specific teacher. Teachers spend 45 minutes a day with each of their classes, yet Mr. Patrick Noote always finds a way to build personal connections with each of his East Campus students. This makes the classroom much more enjoyable for many students.

After honorably serving the country, English teacher Mr. Patrick Noote left the Airforce to pursue a different career. He decided, after some deliberating, that he was going to go into education because he wanted to be a role model figure for teenagers. Now, Noote has been teaching for six years, though only five years at McHenry East Campus. He very much enjoys being around students because “Every day is like a performance for me. And I get to be center stage. Which is fun. With a captive audience.” 

During his classes, his hands move through the air as he reads quotes from the latest text, often stopping to elaborate on a character’s personality in a fun, different voice. In the classroom, Mr. Noote does not fail to deliver. He will even encourage the students who are reading aloud to read in different voices to find the true tone of the story. 

Even though he reads aloud in different voices to elaborate on a character’s personality, Noote finds that not keeping students engaged is one of his biggest worries. “I very much connect my success as a teacher to how much [students] are engaged.” Though his big, booming voice does not fail to get people’s attention most of the time in a class full of rowdy teenagers, sometimes a reading full of funny voices will do even better.

In a classroom full of students, Noote finds that “the willingness to try” is something students really need to have in order to succeed, even if students find something tiresome or tedious. “I have always wanted my classroom to be a place that students want to come to.” He tries his best to make the work and classroom energy as light as possible. Though he worries about keeping students engaged and wanting to learn, he enters the classroom every day with a smile on his face.

In six years that smile has never wavered. Mr. Noote still has many memories compiled from those years. One of his favorite memories is when it was his first year teaching, and he was at Palatine High School. A student had come up to him after school and asked him how to tie a tie. After showing the student how to tie it, the student started crying because he didn’t have a figure like that to help him at home. Noote recalled, “I remember feeling like there’s so much I don’t know because I only get 45 minutes a day.”

Though he only sees specific classes for 45 minutes a day, he wouldn’t give up forming those personal bonds with students and trying to give them a memorable experience for the world. Mr. Patrick Noote just wants to leave an impact on students in a positive way, even if he does only have 45 minutes a day to do it.