Throughout my years of math, all of the brain numbing problems and worksheets, Pre- Calc has been my favorite. Never, and I mean NEVER, did I think I would enjoy a math class, that is until I walked into your class on the first day of school my senior year. I knew right with the first meme on the board that this was going to be a great year.
As we started to get into math, I noticed I was actually understanding what we were doing. This is rare for me because often I never understand what the teacher is explaining or the style they are teaching with. But with you, it clicked. I first realized this when we started to do trig Identities again. When I learned it in Functions junior year, I never could understand it but when you explained it to me, even though I didn't get it right away, you were willing to do whatever it took to make sure I understood how to get both sides to equal sine. You taught me more than just math, you taught me I can do anything.
When I first heard that you taught THREE different math classes I was in awe. I started to think how many students you must have and the amount of tests you have to grade, and then realized how incredibly grateful I am for you. You come to school everyday and always say hello to me when I walk in and give your two free periods to help me. You made me feel like I can do this and that you actually appreciate having me in class. You told me at the start of class one day that “I was thinking of you this morning when I didn't hear your name as a word of the week winner this week!” For some reason, this really resonated with me. I, just one of your at least 160 students you have every single day, you were thinking of and cared about.
Lastly, you are someone that I look up to. You are a father of two, a forensics coach, a husband, and the world's best math teacher. Throughout this year, I have not seen you having a bad day, even though I know there must be some. You are always happy though and kind and caring to each and every student that walks through room 126. You have taught me to be kind to everyone I meet because you never know what kind of impact you can make in their life, like the impact you have made in mine.
You are such a fun, caring and energetic teacher I am excited to come to math every day (even though it is first hour) because I know that I am going to a place where I am wanted and that the teachers, especially you, is there for me whether it's a question on derivatives or I just need to talk to someone in my life, YOU are there. Thank you Mr. Schmid, for all you have done for me and the students you will continue to help in the future.
I was decent at math during middle school and in my first years of high school. I was excited to start math junior year with a teacher I had heard great things about from other students and my brother. I heard he allowed his second-year class to dress up for their quizzes to get a partner on it. It seemed like his class was going to be fun.
My senior year at Arrowhead started like the past three. I balanced school with football, I spent time with friends, and, most importantly, my grades were up. I wasn’t stressing over grades nor was I behind on any work. The first C of the year was on a calculus quiz. No problem, I thought. I’ll just study harder and the next quiz will be fine.
Slowly, A’s and B’s turned to B’s and C’s. No matter how much I studied, my grades weren’t improving. With every B, I put more pressure on myself, trying harder in class and doing more practice work. I was a sinking ship as the stress kept rising like the sea. I thought that things wouldn’t get any worse, but then my grandma passed away, and a week later my grandpa passed, too. I felt like I had drowned. In the hurricane of emotion I thought that focusing on school would help take my mind off of everything else, but it only added to the stress.
Eventually, I went to Mr. Schmid, my calculus teacher, for help. I kept it strictly focused on math as I didn’t want to bring him into the storm. I told him how I was concerned about my grades and asked what he thought.
He said, “Stop worrying about the grades and focus on learning and understanding the content.” Mr. Schmid told me once I had an understanding of the material, the grades would come up. Most importantly, he told me something I needed to hear: that everything was going to be okay.
Like a lighthouse, Mr. Schmid guided me through my storm. He helped me overcome the stress I had put myself through. The grades in all my classes improved through the semester, not just in calculus. I had a new mindset for school; I focussed on the content and not the grade.
In the two years with Mr. Schmid as my calculus teacher, there hasn’t been a day when I wasn’t greeted with “Hey Matt!” and a smile. He is a compassionate, level-headed, and hard-working teacher who cares about his students and our success. His enthusiasm for math keeps his lectures interesting. So thank you, Mr. Schmid, for being both an excellent teacher and a good friend.
To see more exceptional teacher nominees, visit The Honor Roll.