By Hannah Birkel, grade 11
Normally math is my favorite subject. For some reason that is the one thing at school that just makes sense to me. I started to really enjoy the subject and am excited to see the teachers everyday while in middle school.
My sophomore year of high school I was placed in Advanced Algebra. I dug a hole by never asking for help or clarification when I needed to; Not that this is any of the teachers doing but I just didn't understand it. This was also the year after CoronaVirus had hit, because of this I had been checked out of school, ready for something new even though I still had two years left here.
After seeing that my math grade was getting worse and worse, my math teacher decided to put me into a math help class during one of my study halls. I was frustrated and upset that he had done this. Most of all I was embarrassed because I thought people were going to think I was dumb, or that the teachers in this room would think im a lost cause just because I dont get it.
The first time I went to this study class I was surprised; I was the only person in the “class” and I had one teacher who was willing to help whenever I needed it. This was Mrs. Archibald whom I had gotten to know while being in the class every other day. I guess though I thought I was going to be ridiculed for not understanding, instead I learned that there are people who want to help me and see me succeed.
She would talk to me about my weekends and tell me about hers, she would compliment me on my outfits or nails. Overall, she made me feel comfortable being there. She didn't make me feel like an idiot for not understanding math, on the contrary she cared. She cared about how I was doing in my class, what I needed help with, and she cared about me on top of that.
Throughout the semester I would go to the class and she would help me understand what was going on in math and while there was an improvement on my grades, it wasn't enough to move to the next course up; but all the extra help and time that Mrs. Archibald and Mrs. Chirafisi and my new math teacher Mrs. Fulton really helped me find joy in math again.
Mrs. Archibald, I would like you to know that because of my time with you and your kindness I have felt more able to ask questions when I'm confused or talk with my teachers about something that I need a little extra help with. The joy you brought to the room every time I was in there and even when I didn't have any questions and all I did was work helped me rediscover my love for math and now thanks to you I'm doing so much better with my grades and I want to learn new things! So again, thank you for helping me even when I barely wanted to help myself. Your kindness and compassion will forever have impacted my life. I am grateful that I had the chance to get to know you.