I have a few teachers to choose from, but my creative writing teacher has been one of my favorite people since I had her the second half of my sophomore year. At my high school, there were only grades 10-12, so I was still relatively new to the school. Naturally, that meant that I talked only to people I knew well. Starting the day in her class was one of my favorite things to do; I never wanted to go to second period. She helped me open up, talk more, share my ideas and improve my writing. I’m so glad I was able to end the last period of the last day of in-person school senior year in her class.
Through 12 years of education, I can say with certainty that Mr. Nadeem was one of (if not the best) the educators I had ever come across. He taught me my sophomore year in AP World History and my senior year in AP Psychology. While being an amazing educator, to me his main attribute was his ability to truly connect with his students on a personal level. I was always free to express myself in his classes, and outside the classroom, too. He’d listen to my silly high school dilemmas while giving great advice. My favorite lesson he taught me was that nothing in high school matters! He would always end his advice to me by saying that in just a few years, none of my problems would matter (he was absolutely right). I hope every kid gets a Mr. Nadeem in high school. Or maybe an actual therapist. I’m grateful that I got to learn from him, and I just know teaching and connecting with students is what he was meant to do.
I had a multitude of amazing teachers who impacted me throughout my experiences in school. Part of why I love that academic atmosphere so much is the relationships we form with our mentors. However, one person that stands out a lot from my time in high school was my cross country coach Mr. Brinkerhoff. He was different from every other coach I had ever had. He was incredibly understanding of everyone. He thoroughly believed in us, and he pushed us – but never beyond our breaking points. He somehow made me believe that I really was capable of great things and provided me the tools to do so. Essentially, he was the heart and soul of our team and made us feel like family. Coach Brinkerhoff was one of the most genuine people I’ve ever met, and I’m beyond grateful that I was able to be a part of his team.