Whenever I walked past a teacher, I would never guess they would be on my side. I always saw teachers as being caught up with just teaching kids how to learn a subject. Out of all the sweet teachers and the funny teachers, I would have never guessed that my freshman math teacher would be on my side. I was going through a very rough time at the end of freshman year. My friend got into an accident while I was with her. It was a difficult time, but even more difficult was going to school to learn. My first day back was difficult, and I didn’t know to explain to the teachers what was going on. I tried my hardest to explain that it would be a difficult day, and I wouldn’t be able to pay much attention. As I was walking into math class, I found out we had a quiz. I started freaking because I hadn’t studied at all. I didn’t want to make a scene, so I asked my teacher if I could talk to him in private. I was very nervous about his reaction. Was he gonna tell me to suck it up? Or would he not understand and put all the pressure on me?

As I explained the story to him, suddenly I looked up and could just tell by his facial expression that he understood. He told me, “Don’t worry about the quiz. You must be going through so much. I really hope she’s okay. I’m so sorry.” I would never guess that out of all my teachers, the most isolated teacher would understand me the most. He had me take the quiz just to see how I would do, and I was nowhere close to passing. Two days later he had me retake the quiz, and I got a much better grade. He took the old quiz and I never saw it again.

I am so grateful that he was on my side that day. He didn’t just say the sweetest words I heard all day, but he showed that he really cared about my learning. Kids are so used to going to school and getting pressured into getting good grades, but if we had more teachers caring for our pace of learning instead of just throwing information at us, we would perform more efficiently.

That day changed my life forever. I now feel like the teachers here do care about our life, and will work with us if we need it. Although the 65% I got the first time on the quiz was horrible, he knew I was capable of more and gave me the opportunity to get the 90 percent.

—White Mountains Regional High School