National Teaching Award Nominee
Arrowhead High School, Hartland, Wisconsin
Student Nomination Story
After my schedule came out for my freshman year at Arrowhead High School, I thought I would dread the 10th hour math class on my agenda. Having math as my last hour is the absolute worst. By that time of the day, my brain is shut off and I stop thinking. Little did I know how much I would enjoy going to 10th hour geometry class, taught by Mrs. Tiefenthaler. Walking into her class on the first day, I didn’t know how to pronounce her name. However, she wrote Mrs. T on the board because no one would dare spell or say her last name. Mrs. T, I thought to myself, she sounds pretty cool! She gave us candy and told us we would have the best semester ever. By the end of my first math class, I couldn’t wait to come back to the best class of my day. Mrs. T taught math in a way no other teacher could. She helped me understand math concepts, making sure every part made sense. I thought, this class couldn’t get any better. I was seeing the results of the hard work. Math class has never been easy for me, but Mrs. T made it seem like anything was possible. After my freshman year, I said goodbye to Mrs. T, because I was moving on up to advanced algebra. Math was always hard for me, but algebra was especially challenging. Advanced algebra was my worst grade during my sophomore year and I couldn’t believe I wasn’t getting the results I wanted. So of course, I decided to talk to Mrs. T. She helped me through the difficult units, in a math class she wasn't even teaching! She cared so much about her students that she would help them even after they graduated from her class. Mrs. T worked hard to make sure others felt comfortable. Not to mention the fact that Mrs. T has three children at home, she takes care of. She is essentially working two full time jobs! Mrs. T didn’t just teach me how to be an outstanding mathematician, she also taught me how to be an outstanding person. She always had a smile on her face, making sure to make her students happy too. Everything she said was positive, she made it feel like every day had a purpose. Mrs. T impacted me more than any other teacher ever did. She taught me lessons beyond math that I will carry with me for the rest of my life—lessons like being kind to others, and making sure to include everyone. She was a great role model for her students, she showed that hard work really does pay off. Anybody would be lucky to know Mrs. T, because I know I am.
In the beginning of freshman to the end of my sophomore year you have helped me with understanding and learning math. I remember every class there was never a day where you were not enthusiastic, energetic, and positive. You were always ready to teach and help. No matter how many questions I had you always knew the answer and how to explain everything. You were always concerned about all of your students' education and their well being. You made every class period interesting and fun for even the people who don’t like math a lot. There were many stories you shared with the class about your three kids, they never cease to amaze me. With every story I can tell how much of a loving, caring, and awesome Mom you are. When you gave examples about math, you always made it relate to your life. Which showed me how compassionate you are about math. I remember one class period when we had work time to work on homework, you were at your desk grading papers and a random student that you’ve never met came to you for help with advanced algebra. Though you do not teach advanced algebra you still helped her nonetheless and showed that you cared to help. Thank you for the two years for teaching and helping me with math.
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