Student Nomination Story

Mrs.Tiefenthaler By Marlee Koplin, age 16 I took Foundations of Algebra freshman year. I didn’t want to be in that class at first because it made me feel like I was stupid for needing extra help in math. I was not very good at math for most of my life, always needing to go in for extra help or stay up till midnight trying to figure out my homework with my dad. I was just not good at it so therefore I hated it, I hated anything to do with math. I remember walking into room 205, it was the 7th hour of the first day of freshman year, to see Mrs.Tiefenthaler standing there with a big smile on her face and I suddenly felt comforted and okay to be in that class. The bell rang and I sat in a desk next to a girl I had met earlier that day in another class. Mrs. Tiefenthaler introduced herself to the class, “Hi everyone I'm Mrs.Tiefenthaler but you can call me Mrs.T!” She went on to tell us about her family and her hobbies. Then we went around the classroom introducing ourselves, when it was my turn I weakly said, “Um Hi my name is Marlee and something I like to do is play soccer,” Mrs.T looked at me with a smile and said, “that is very cool Marlee, I am looking forward to getting to know you more!” From that day on, I looked forward to going to that class, and every time I walked through the door of that small, boring classroom I was filled with overwhelming joy. It was the day after we took our first math test of the year, we were getting our tests back in class. I remember walking into my math class that day with a guilty, ashamed feeling knowing that I didn’t do very well on the test. My teacher went around handing out the tests and when he handed me mine I looked at the score circled at the top right corner of the page, it read C+. My emotions consumed me, I tried not to cry. The bell rang and I quickly left, practically running to Mrs.Tiefenthaler’s room. I wanted to blame her for not helping me enough but when I walked into her room she was standing there with her big, warm smile that she always has and all of sudden I felt horrible for wanting to blame her. I told her what I had gotten on the test and she just said, “It is okay Marlee it was only your first test you will get better and I will be here to help you along the way.” Then I realized she was totally right, it was only my first test. Throughout the rest of the year, I had grown to love and appreciate that class more and more. Mrs.Tiefenthaler quickly became my favorite teacher, she not only helped me understand and get through Algebra but she helped me learn to enjoy math. I loved how she was so easy to connect with and she was just that kind of teacher that students would accidentally call mom. I really appreciate everything she did for me.

Marlee Koplin

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