Student Nomination Story

Appreciation is the recognition and enjoyment of good qualities of someone. Ms. James is the most appreciative person I know. She appreciates her children, students, and peers. She appreciates people of all different walks of life whether it pertains to religion, race, gender, or age. Ms. James uses her huge heart to connect to all students who she hopes will one day change the world. I think this award might have just been made for her. From the moment I stepped into Ms. James’ classroom, I knew she and I would jive well. Students are immersed into a literature wonderland the moment they walk into the room. Book after book are lined up on the shelves, for kids, specifically me, to drool over. I’m pretty sure the first day I checked out five books. I was a student of Ms. James for two years. In those years, I adopted Ms. James’ platforms like “Smart people read”, “When they go low, we go high.”, and most of all “Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” By bringing love into her classroom, Ms. James has inspired her students to believe they can conquer the world. And gave them the tools to succeed. Ms. James teaches love in her classroom. The best way she does this is through appreciation. She knows how to teach the impossible. Ms. James creates a classroom environment where there is no place for hate, and we all love one another because we understand our differences. Her platform “Don’t judge me. You don’t know my story.” reaches all students who might feel like they aren’t included. Ms. James brings something to the table that some teachers just can’t. Being African American, Ms. James shares with everyone the obstacles and barriers she has had to face, and that’s why she is so passionate to teach us to appreciate others and to never be an oppressor. Being a minority has never held her back from appreciating ALL students, as she learns who we are and finds some level that she can meet us on - everyday. At one point or another, we have all been the star of the show in her classroom, and we all feel loved. She empathizes with our problems and jokes around when we are having a bad day. She also shares stories about her life to help connect with us personally. This doesn’t mean she wasn’t tough on us, though. She pushed and pushed until everyone learned at least one thing they could carry with them through life. Because of her, I have been inspired to become a teacher. Ms. James has taught me to “touch the future I teach” by choosing to not be complacent. I strive to change someone else’s life by teaching and showing them appreciation and love. Ms. James is an upstander, she connects with her students, and she always finds a way to love them whether they like it or not. I was lucky enough to be able to enjoy Ms. James’ amazing qualities. My favorite one to mention is her flamboyant personality. Three of the words in the definition are exuberant, confident, and stylish. If these words don’t describe Ms. James, then I don’t know what does. She is also kind, intelligent, hard-working, tolerant, and loving. Ms. James is a great teacher, and she has my utmost respect.

Audrey Carr

To see more exceptional teacher nominees, visit The Honor Roll.