National Teaching Award Nominee
College Station High School, College Station, Texas
Student Nomination Story
Ok, so I know this will most certainly be but a drop in the ocean of nominations, but I felt it was important to share. Mr. Watson is the best teacher I have ever had. He sparked my joy and passion for Latin and gave me hope that I indeed do have a future. He most likely doesn't know it, but he has indirectly saved my life. I understand you're probably confused, thinking "what? How the heck?" But allow me to explain. I don't mean to pull out the depression card, but it is vital to this story, for years, ever since 5th/6th grade I have been dealing with it. Around 8th grade, things got really bad, I felt I had no future, no purpose, and ultimately, no reason to live except that I didn't want to hurt someone else by my actions. Over my first few weeks of High School, I was still feeling depressed of course, but it was different, I had a light to my day. Whenever any of Mr Watson's students come in upset or crying (happens more often than you would think), he always comforts them in a non intrusive way. We have this stuffed animal sheep named Felipe, he's there to help us learn the imperfect tense, as words always end in "ba" and Felipe has one leg missing. Everyone loves Felipe, and Mr Watson will let us hold him for the class, or day if we need it. But this is only one of the great things Mr Watson has done. One day, I noticed that Mr Watson had a razor scooter sitting by his desk, so of course I inquired! He responded that "the break room was really far!" Considering we were in portables this was understandable, and I just laughed. Aside from being a genuinely good person, he is also a fantastic teacher, he somehow finds a way to keep us interested in the lessons whilst also teaching us things in a way we can retain it. I truly think that if it weren't for Mr Watson, I would not love Latin and languages in general as much as I do. He motivates all his students to do the best that they can, and even if their best is still a failing grade, he will be proud for even the littlest of victories like scoring a point higher on a test than the previous one. Latin is the highlight of my day, and not only because of the friendly cahoots competitions and putting up silly art work and bad song translations on the wall, but because Mr Watson allows for this environment and takes part in it a bit. Some time before finals, Mr Watson mentioned he had an old Nintendo console, and we all begged him to bring it, and after all our finals were done, he brought it out and let us play some Mario Kart. Even though it's pretty silly, it's a memory that always makes me smile. Sadly, most students won't be taking Latin III as they mainly just want to double up on sciences for their career, I even took a tally to see who was staying and who was a traitor to the cool Latin kids, only three people are going to III, when I spoke about this to my fellow loyal Latin cool kids and said how sad I was that our friends were leaving, Mr. Watson said "how do you think I feel?" Honestly, how many teachers do you know that put that much into their students. I don't know if anything I have said has made any coherent sense or has made you consider him in anyway, but I know that he deserves this award, not only for beeping a phenomenal teacher, but for changing my life by giving me hope that I don't suck at everything, and thus, giving me a reason to live. I doubt that what I have said truly encapsulates how great of a teacher he is, as it is hard to put these things into words, but I truly hope that you will consider him.
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