National Teaching Award Nominee
Arrowhead Union, Hartland, Wisconsin
Student Nomination Story
Trying my hardest to stay awake, stumbling over math equations trying to remember things that we had just learned yesterday, is how I felt everyday in class. It was every student's worst nightmare, math class. I was for the most part knowledgeable in math and enjoyed math. I appreciated algebra especially because it was easy and intuitive, the more complex equations got the less intuitive it seemed. Once I understood the equation, the math came easy. One of my downfalls was my ability to focus. Full of food after lunch and sleep deprivation were two thing. therefore not paying attention in class didn’t allow for good grades. Not including all the other homework, my back was still fresh off injury, and wrestling didn’t make things any easier. Life was too much. Mr Fechter was there for me. Everytime I came in for help or to review a math question he helped me. Every Time I was concerned about my grade he told me not to worry. I still worried a lot but I felt a little better. My friends in that class would always joke that I was the dumb one and I couldn’t really say much because I was at the time. Their grades were always better than mine and I never seemed to figure it out. The one person that always believed in me was Mr. Fechter. Knowing that he believed in me I was able to ignore the people that didn’t, because the people that care about you their opinions matter. The people that don’t care about you their opinions don’t really matter. One time some lunch hour I had come in for help. He had asked me if I was ok. I said “Yeah why” not really understanding the question. He said “you seem like you have a lot on your plate.” I said “Well what do you mean?” He said “You seem like you have a lot on your plate and you need to slow down, not everyone can be the best at everything, you can’t be the best wrestler and the best at math kid and the smartest kid in Physics. You need to know you can’t be Superman, no one is Superman………. I knew he was always there for me because he would always tell us how if we never learned any math from his class we should learn this. How to be a good person. He reminded us that he was never good at math and he was not even close to as smart as we were at his age, but it taught me something that there is hope, that times might not always be great but there is hope. He once said this, “life is not about the grade, how important it may seem it's not about your grades it's about who you are as a person. Grades matter for the next 6 months and then all that work is just pointless and useless. To define a person you need to understand them not give them a letter based on how well they did on a test.” This gave me hope and helped me get through the tough things I was going through. By saying this he gave me a reason to keep trying and not to give up. He also told me once that I had too much on my plate and that I was pushing myself too hard and had no time for fun or the regular life of a highschool kid. This also taught me as much as my parents may have said it hearing it from someone else was powerful hearing that someone else was watching over me paying attention to me as a person and not just looking at my grade as a letter that gets him or her a raise.This taught me that I need to stop trying to be superman. I wasn’t superman and I was some genius who didn’t have to work for anything because he was born smart which I don’t believe exists. Which is why I’m saying thank you. For not only being there for me, but for understanding. But going to that class gave me hope gave me a positive outlook on the next 4 classes in my day. Gave me something to believe in. A reason to come to class happy and not stressed that we had some big test or major project due.
To see more exceptional teacher nominees, visit The Honor Roll.