Student Nomination Story

Mrs. Gibson Before I met this teacher, I was a shy student who loved school but struggled with anxiety. I always thought that everyone lived the way I did with anxiety but I would learn that I was wrong. In the fall of my sophomore year of high school, everything was normal; I went to all my classes and enjoyed them like always. But, the spring of that same year is another story; I began to have panic attacks and have anxiety all day, everyday that I couldn’t control like I used to be able to do. This wave of anxiety stemmed from students at my school having epilepsy. One day someone was having an episode and I began to have a panic attack. Luckily, I had this teacher, Mrs. Gibson, who later would become known as my hero to help me through my anxiety attack. She took me to another room, calmly asked “what is the best thing that I can do to help you?” and when she saw that I had no idea what was best, she let me text my mom and called the school counselor to come get me because she knew exactly what would help me even when I didn’t. After that, my anxiety would not allow me to go anywhere near her classroom without breathing heavily out of fear of what could happen. So, she let me stay in the counselor’s office during her class and she never counted me absent. After a week, I was still not able to go to her classroom so, she let me come to school on Monday, a planning day to practice walking to her classroom. It took many tries but by the end I could walk into her classroom by using another stairwell as it didn’t give me as much anxiety as the first stairwell . This teacher and my school made accommodations for me by allowing me to go to all my classes late to reduce anxiety in the hallways. I was beginning to make it through all my classes despite my anxiety. And everyday I looked forward to Mrs. Gibson’s class as she always taught interesting material in an enthusiastic way. Mrs Gibson helped me to realize the positive in my life and really helped me get through my anxiety. Mrs. Gibson taught AP Psychology which informed me on many relevant topics to my situation. I began to understand anxiety disorders more and became more aware of my anxiety/psychological disorders (Generalized anxiety disorder, a phobia, panic disorder, and PTSD) So, I started taking Prozac and began to see significant results/improvement. I thank Mrs. Gibson for helping me to understand more about my anxiety disorders through her class and the Psychology novel project we did at the end of the year. Mrs. Gibson also accommodated me in that she allowed me to present this big end of the year project to her after school so I wouldn’t have to present to other students. This helped my anxiety levels to not go through the roof. I really appreciate everything that Mrs. Gibson has done for me to help me. She also made so much of a difference in my life that if she wasn’t at school that today, then I would feel like I couldn’t make it through the school day. Mrs. Gibson was my hero throughout my sophomore year of high school as she always provided me a safe space when I needed it. And I am still having positive outcomes from her kindness a year later.

Callie Stimpson

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