My 5th grade teacher saw me as a person and not just a part of a group the way all the other teachers in Jefferson Elementary School did. In his math class, I was outstanding at achieving the goals I set for myself every day, and I would always get A’s or B’s on the work he gave us in class.

The first few weeks in his class, I got the same work sheets as everyone else, but after those weeks went past, he noticed how well I was doing in class and started giving me different worksheets that were much more challenging. Every time I got homework for his class, I would finish it before his class ended, so I had no homework. After another few weeks, my mom and stepdad noticed that I never brought homework home.

When the time came for parent-teacher conferences, the teacher and my parents had a conversation about how outstanding I was doing in class and what I got for grades on my work. My parents were surprised because I never seemed to want to do my work and I would always complain about school when I got home.

I was doing so well at Jefferson School. I would always get good grades, I would help others who needed help, and I really tried to do my work. Now I don’t do so well in school. I get bad grades most of the time, I don’t hand things in, I don’t want to do my work, and most of all, I don’t even want to go to school anymore.

The past couple years, most of my teachers were teaching too fast for me to follow along, and the amount of time they gave us to do our work wasn’t enough. I know I could work on things at home, but most of the work was hard for me to understand without a teacher’s help, and the amount of distraction at school in just one classroom is just too much. I usually ask my teachers for help, but I’m a very shy person, so most of the time I’m just too scared to speak up or ask for help from anyone.

—White Mountains Regional High School