By Caleb Elliott
The process of becoming a teacher is long and grueling. Prospective teachers endure countless hours of creating lesson plans, making assignments, and studying resources. With all of this it can be hard for teachers to connect with their students, which could be their most important lesson of all.
For English teacher Mrs. Suzy Fox she found comfort in her current seniors during the hardest time in her life.
“When I had these students as sophomores two years ago, it was when my mom was very sick with ovarian cancer,” Mrs. Fox said. “I had a long talk with all my students at the start of the year that it was likely I would have some good days and some bad, and would they please bear with me and show me some grace, and likewise, if they were going through some struggles, I encouraged them to share it with me so we could struggle together.
“Sadly, my mom passed away in March of that year. I had so many kids share words of encouragement, write me emails/notes with comforting words, and I don’t think I could have made it through that year without them. I will forever love them just for that alone.”.
But not all of Mrs. Fox’s memories of this class are tagged with this hard time in her life. On one occasion Mrs. Fox was helping run the concession stand with a few of her students.
“I asked Evan Conley to go to the storage room and bring back more pop for the cooler,” Mrs. Fox recalled. “On his way back to the concession stand, he stopped abruptly, sending almost all the pop to the floor, and it rolled everywhere! It was too funny!”
When the Covid-19 pandemic hit last spring there was speculation as to how the following school year would be. How could students focus on class work? Would sports be played? For many seniors they found comfort in some of their teachers.
“As a person, I have watched so many of them grow into fine humans,” Mrs. Fox said. “I am so proud of how they have handled adversity, especially this year with the pandemic. School has not been what school should be, but they have shown a lot of class and continued to make the best of a bad situation.”
Spanish teacher Sra. Melba Fox agrees that she has a special connection with some of her seniors who are her teacher assistants.
“Hayden Armstrong, Kamryn Baker, Jacy Bradley, Kennedi Freiburger, Emily Neal, Mario Lopez and Erin Wirt are my student aides this year,” Sra. Fox said. “So I get to see them and talk to them about their day and their lives every day. I love hearing about what is going on in life.”
Señora has a strong relationship with many of her students in her more advanced classes.
“I enjoyed having many students from the senior class. I loved having my seniors last year in Spanish 4. I hate that the start of COVID-19 shortened the end of the school year last year with these seniors,” she said.
For Señora this last Christmas expressed just how much some of her students loved and appreciated her. Señora said, “Kamryn Baker and Erin Wirt surprised me when they came to my house during Christmas. I couldn’t believe they took the time to visit me. That was so special!”
Both of these teachers couldn’t express enough how much this senior class meant to them. The memories they made have left an indelible impact on both them and the students.
Mrs. Suzy Fox said, “This year’s seniors are a very special bunch, and I’m not just saying that because my son is a part of this class. I have had about two-thirds of the senior class as students, and I can honestly say, I enjoyed teaching EVERY single one! They’re really nice humans!”
As these seniors close out their final days of high school it’s safe to say that they’ve made memories and relationships with their teachers that will last a lifetime.