I Wasn't There For My High School Teacher When He Needed Me
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Mental Health

I Still Regret Not Being There For My High School Teacher When He Needed Me

Starting my sophomore year, many of my classmates and I had noticed that Monsieur's face lacked his signature smile.

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I Still Regret Not Being There For My High School Teacher When He Needed Me

In high school, we had a French teacher that was his student's favorite teacher. He was the funny teacher who knew how to keep his class entertained. He was the empathetic teacher who recognized and valued his student's emotions. He was the encouraging teacher who knew just when and how hard to push his students towards success.

All in all, he was one of the best (if not the best) teachers that we had in our school.

There have been many times that I went to him when I was having a crisis and needed to talk it out. Every single time I went to him in these situations, he would always stop his class and make the time to talk to me, and that made me instantly feel so much better. He made sure to create a bond with each one of his students, whether that be with small inside jokes or whether that be by him just listening to their problems. He was the teacher that was always there for his students no matter what, and that is a quality that is extremely rare to find in people today. His class was the one that everyone looked forward to, and his classroom was our safe space. He always had a smile on his face and made sure that the people around him had one too until sophomore year that is.

Starting my sophomore year, many of my classmates and I had noticed that Monsieur's face lacked his signature smile. He wasn't smiling as much as he did in freshman year, but during class, he still had the same amount of enthusiasm. Then junior year came around, and I, unfortunately, wasn't in his class anymore, and the craziness of life overtook, and I didn't keep up with Monsieur as much. But he was the type of teacher that would always take the initiative to check in with you even when you didn't make the time out of your day to do the same.

The second half of my junior year, when I needed someone to talk life through with, I would always consult Monsieur, and he would always be there for me. Finally, it was senior year, and I was so in the moment this year that I failed to check in with Monsieur. This was also the year that Monsieur was the saddest that we had ever seen him. Every single one of his students noticed and yet we failed to do anything to help him, especially me. Monsieur and I were friends. We would exchange books that we enjoyed. We would talk about life. We would joke around.

Monsieur was my friend, and I failed to be there for him when he needed it. I know that I failed to be there for him because this December I got news that he was involved in a drunk driving case. Monsieur was driving intoxicated during the day with his daughter in the car. Now, this was incredibly uncharacteristic for him because anybody who knows Monsieur knows that he would do ANYTHING for his daughter, his daughter was his world.

To me, it was Earth-shaking to think that the man who guided all his students onto the right path ended up taking the wrong one himself. I immediately started doing some research myself since I couldn't believe that the Monsieur that was always joking and laughing my freshman year did this to himself. Every single article that I read had labeled him as a drunk driver, an alcoholic, and as a negligent parent.

Monsieur's one wrong choice to drive intoxicated single-handedly erased his reputation as one of the best teachers in the world. While driving drunk was a conscious decision that he made himself and while he is to be blamed for his actions, it's saddening to see this amazing man's life come down to one mistake he made. All of his past students especially my classmates, since we were there to witness his downwards spiral, regretted not asking him how he was doing and regretted not trying to talk to him to make him feel better. Just one conversation could have changed this downward spiral into an upwards one. Just one open conversation.

I had so many opportunities to check up on him but I failed and that is something that I will always regret. The reason I share this story with you all is to encourage you to check in with someone that you think isn't doing so well. If they're actually doing just fine, then it'll be a nice catch-up conversation. But if they are going to a dark place and need help, you can help them overcome this hurdle in their life.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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