As I readied myself for my senior year of high school, I discovered that my greatest anxiety was a glorious subject called Advanced Placement (AP) Calculus. When I first received my schedule, I trembled at the sight of those words, and highly considered switching classes because I definitely did not want to suffer through nine months of intense math. However, after a few weeks, I realized an inspiring reason to stay in the demanding class: my teacher.
To some people, my decision to stay simply because of the teacher may seem ridiculous, but those same people must not know Mrs. Wester. In the first few weeks of the class, we were collectively overwhelmed and frustrated, as one would expect from a challenging math class.
We often complained, and sometimes, even cried. However, despite our pain, our teacher never lost hope. Any time we entered the classroom we were greeted by a smiling face belonging to a woman who genuinely cared about her students and the people around her.
Whenever someone needs help, Mrs. Wester is always willing to offer any act of service. She motivates my class with Jolly Ranchers, soft peppermints, muffins, and sausage balls. She expresses her ceaseless support for her students by writing inspirational quotes, giving pep-talks, reading Bible verses, and telling funny stories.
Her smile is contagious and her laugh floods the room with joy. If you missed class for any reason, the next time she saw you, she would tell you how happy she is to know you're back and that if you needed anything, she was there to provide.
I am more than grateful to know such a compassionate teacher with an amazing love for her job. Without my calculus teacher, I am not sure how I would have survived my senior year up to this point. When I am annoyed or stressed beyond belief, I know I can come into the classroom and she will help me back to a calmer state of mind. I may leave stressed about the curriculum, but because of her kind and loving heart, I won't leave upset about reality.
My calculus teacher taught me that some situations are inevitable, but the future is brighter. In high school, friendships come and go, and sometimes, you may flunk an assignment or a test. She helped me learn that my future is not defined by a broken relationship or a tragic test grade.
My future is built on my work ethic and my attitude. As long as I am diligent in my work and maintain a positive attitude, my future will be successful. She taught me to never settle, and I can always do more than what I have initially done. I can always practice a little more or finish one more question. Ultimately, she taught me that there is never a point in giving up when people believe in you and your future.
She teaches her students valuable life lessons. She warns us to be cautious of any important decisions we may face, so that we may evaluate both sides of the situation and choose the best solution (pun intended). She reminds us to explore the dating world with marriage as the goal, but never forget to have some fun and laugh a little with whoever you are dating. If you are stressed, it is okay to cry, but do not dwell upon your struggles for a new day is dawning.
Mrs. Wester has influenced me to believe in myself, trust in my future, and have stronger faith in God that He will lead me where I am needed. If I don't remember any of my teachers from kindergarten to all of high school, I pray I always remember "that silly and energetic calculus teacher." She has inspired me, motivated me, and helped me become the person I am today. If you're reading this, Mrs. Wester, thank you for all you have done, even if you didn't know what you were doing, which you usually don't, but no one will blame you.