Literature can be a hard thing to get into – but not for Pam Popp's 7th grade class in Longfellow Middle School.
"Literature was not my favorite class in 6th grade,” said Maddie Eber, who had Ms. Popp for a teacher last year." But I think her being a teacher, it turned out to be my favorite class during 7th grade."
Ms. Popp says she’s always known she wanted to be a teacher.
"Teaching is really important to me, because I think about our future,” she said.
“I think about all of these kids going out into the world, and I just want to pay it back."
Ms. Popp's impact has been lasting - so much so that she was nominated for News 8's Top Notch Teacher by old students from her past 7th grade classes who haven't forgotten their old friend.
"You could go to her and talk to her about anything, and she would talk to you like you were a daughter or a son,” said Abby Shepard.
Abby, Maddie and several other old students of Ms. Popp’s spoke highly of her in their nomination. As 8th graders, they all still visit their old 7th grade teacher on a regular basis.
It's those kinds of lasting friendships that Ms. Popp says she cherishes most.
"Sometimes you don't realize what the impact of 7th grade was, and then a couple of years later, you'll hear, 'Remember that story we read? I did a project on that.'"
Literature might not be their favorite subject, but it's one thing that brought these students together in 7th grade – that, and a pretty great teacher.