Student Nomination Story

For the past two years I’ve had him, he’s been the most compassionate, funniest, kind and smart teacher there ever was. I remember one time where I was struggling, unmotivated and doubting myself when I didn’t want to take a accelerated test for the “gifted” because every other past time I would miss this one question, he gave me a piece of advice. Which is, “Emily, you’re a really smart kid, I believe in you. Just try your hardest in life and you’ll succeed.” When I took the test I still bombed that question. But that piece of advice has stuck with me and when I struggled in seventh grade in Science, I would start to give up with my mind saying, “Why even do this anymore? What’s the point? Everyone already knows I suck at this.” But I would remember Mr. Martin’s advice that he gave to me two years ago and persevere with a different mindset. Once I remembered his advice I actually succeeded in Science which is my hardest subject, which motivated me to try my best. Not only does he inspire and encourage students, he also has teaches us that learning can be fun and educational. He plans lessons that make learning easier for everyone, whether they’re tactical, visual or auditory learners. For example, for Science he would make us build a bridge out of a limited amount of toothpicks and gumdrops to try to support a heavy encyclopedia and see what strategies worked and which ones were a flop. Everyone benefited, even with different learning styles, the lessons were fun (which encouraged students to pay attention and be involved) and were educational. I still remember that when designing structures to hold things squares and triangles usually work best because of the design. He made students willing to come to school. Everyone respected him. Whenever we had a sub we behaved because we all had too much respect for Mr. Martin. He never usually yelled or got angry. If we acted out when we had a sub, when he came back he wouldn’t be mad, he’d be disappointed, which was worse. It was the worst feeling when I or the class let him down. His happy demeanor would disappear and the dreaded sad look would come over his face. It was like watching a cute puppy being in pain and whimpering. He’d also play in PE with his students which was the absolute best. He was really athletic and whichever team got paired up with him won. Not only that but he actually cares about the well being of his students. I remember this one time when we were playing pin down which is where there are two teams, each with three bowling pins on each side and each team would try to knock down all the other team pins with gator balls and the pin guard would try to avoid letting balls knock down the pins. Anyways, I was a pin guard and all of my team’s pins were down except mine and Mr. Martin was trying his hardest to knock my pin down. I kept blocking his attempts because I was a mediocre athlete who actually had hand eye coordination, finally, he winds up a shot that I swear went all the way to Mississippi and back to the small gym in Washington, that’s how much power it had and this annoying girl that no really liked was asking me while I was trying to block the incoming balls if she could guard with me, when WHAM! The purple gator ball smacked her right in the face. Did I mention it was her birthday that day? Instantly my guard dropped and I ran to see if she was okay because even if I don’t like her it’s still common courtesy to see if someone’s okay regardless of you disliking that person and especially if it was their birthday that day, leaving my pin wide open . She was as red as a ripe tomato and she was yelling at him saying it was her birthday and you shouldn’t treat a girl like that, yada yada. Now Mr. Martin could’ve finished my pin while I was gone and then go to her or finished my pin and not gone to her because honestly, she was just being a brat at this point. But him being the guy he is, drops the ball and literally sprints over to her seeing if she was okay. He didn’t care about winning in that moment, all he cared about was his student. Which is one of the many reasons why students admire him and why I’m nominating him. He’s changed my life and many other students before and after me. So please consider Michael Martin.

Emily Spencer

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