This one goes out to all the high schoolers out there.
I would be lying if I said that I miss high school, but I'd also be lying if I said that I didn't miss some of my teachers. I went to a small(ish) school, so after a while, I knew the names of most of the teachers and eventually, they knew my name too. It would have been easy for me to go through my time at Gulf Shores High School without getting to know any of the teachers or staff members, but thankfully, that didn't happen. Getting to know my teachers, and letting them get to know me, is the best decision I made in high school. Let me tell you why.
They Encourage & Challenge You
My junior year, I got to know my English teacher, Mrs. Reichley. She was the first teacher that realized that I was just trying to get by in school, meaning that I didn't really apply myself. She noticed, called me on it, and not only challenged me to try harder, but helped me process why I was choosing not to apply myself. She raised her standards for me, making me a better student in the long run. She was also the first teacher I had that acknowledged my writing, and she challenged me to keep writing in and out of the classroom. Now, I'm an English Writing major, and I honestly don't know if that would have happened if it weren't for Mrs. Reichley.
Let yourself be seen by your teachers and they might do the same for you.
They Can Understand You
After I was Mrs. Reichley's student, I became her teacher aide. I got to spend my senior year grading her papers and getting to know her. In high school, I had a lot of heavy life stuff going on, and Mrs. Reichley saw that and walked through it with me. Because I let her get to know me, she was able to understand what I was walking through and love me where I was. It's easy for us to believe that our teachers aren't people and that all they care about are our grades, but I promise that's not true. They can understand you if you let them.
They Can Help You
When senior year rolls around, college and scholarship applications become top priority. My senior year, I was in our guidance counselor's office almost every week asking her about scholarships. During that season, I told her the honest truth of my family's financial situation and why I was so eagerly applying for scholarships. She helped me finish my resume and all the applications, teaching me how to write professionally about adversity. Without her, my whole application process would have been a mess. And in the end, because I let her know my story and my family's need, she nominated me for a scholarship.
They Help You Get Where You're Going
A time will come when you need your teachers. Whether that help is needed in the form of a reference letter, on a paper or speech, or on a college application, you will need them. If you get to know your teachers before you need them, they'll help you without a second thought. And, if you need them for a reference letter, they'll be able to write easily and honestly. But, if you wait until you need them to get to know them, they'll probably still help you, but it won't come from an as genuine or joyful place. Having your teachers on your team is a good idea, I promise.
One day, They Might Even Be Your Friend
Every holiday season, my best friends and I meet up with our AP English teacher for lunch. Mrs. Blake, at one point, assigned us research papers, now, she's our friend. This won't be the case with all of your teachers, but if you're lucky, it could be the case for one or two. Your teachers can teach you a lot more than what they offer in the classroom.
If you've learned nothing else, learn this: your teachers and guidance counselors are more than worth getting to know. You have four years in high school, so getting to know a teacher or two and your guidance counselor and getting them on your team is worth your time. I wouldn't be the woman, or the student, that I am today if it weren't for some of my high school teachers.
Get to know your teachers, you won't regret it.