About 3 or 4 years ago, I had a teacher who thought the best of his students. He would never treat anyone horribly, and every day was a new day for him. He never chose favorites. He would always treat people fairly, not equally. He was probably one of the only teachers that actually cared about the students. He wasn’t just in it for a paycheck at the end of the weeks.

I met this teacher when I was in 7th grade. He was our social studies teacher. I wasn’t sure about him at first. I’d never really known him before except as the loud guy next door, because his class was always rowdy. But in our very first class together, I immediately grew fond of this teacher. He would always try to patiently explain things if you didn’t understand the information. He taught us many things about North America, Europe, and other continents around the world.

He was pretty laid back for a teacher, but he also did his job. He would be funny when it was appropriate, but he was serious and to the point when he had to be, like when he’s trying to teach a lesson. He’s teaching true facts, but he’s being funny at the same time. If someone wasn’t paying attention, though, or was disrupting the class, that’s when the funniness would stop and we’d have to get serious, and it’s never fun like that. He did it like that because he wants to show that class can be fun if we do it the right way.

One day I asked him why he taught us all this information about the world. He looked at me with a confused look and said, “I figured you of all people should know the answer to that. I teach you guys this stuff because you are our future leaders.” He said, “In my eyes, you have to know everything there is to know about history, whether it’s current events like the elections or the fall of the western Roman Empire. If people don’t know their history, history is doomed to repeat itself.”

I was sad to leave and go up to high school. Not because I hated high school. I was happy I wasn’t in elementary school anymore, but I didn’t want to go to high school because I knew there wouldn’t be another teacher like this teacher. I learned so much from him in just two years. I still email him from time to time to just see what’s up. He always tells me he misses my grade because we were all good kids in his class. I believe we need more people like him, to do his job while still thinking about what’s best for students. If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t know my history like I do today.

—White Mountains Regional High School