During an advisory period at the beginning of the month, Middle Schoolers were asked to write about a Randolph teacher. The teachers who attend the alumni holiday party hear from their former students about the impact they've had. Young alumni are forthcoming with appreciation, but we don't often have the opportunity to hear from middle schoolers. Our #rstories13 theme for December is Giving Back. This post is for all the teachers at Randolph—and at schools everywhere—who give of themselves and make sure their students feel known, challenged and loved. Because they are and they do. And our students appreciate it, even now, while they are in the midst of the experience.
Dear Mr. Bonaker, I cannot help but feel that my devotion to science was almost set by the time that I had come into your class [in 6th grade]; however I honestly think that you solidified my love for it. The fantastic way that you teach always amazed me, and even in the hardest of times you always encouraged me to do my very best. You taught me that it is not necessarily how well you do in the class, but it is your character that matters and how you cope with failure. Sincerely, Joshua [8th grade].
Matthew Estopinal writes: In sixth grade, my math teacher was Mr. Weglage. He was funny every day in class. He always tried to make class fun, and it made math my favorite class that year. Even though class was funny, he also taught us a lot, like the dreaded interest problems. He also recommended books for me to read and helped increase my love for reading. Mr. Weglage was also my soccer coach this and last year. He makes soccer fun, but helps me love the game even more.
Mr. Bonaker, Your passion for what you teach has inspired me throughout my time at Randolph School. Your wisdom and the way you opened up your life and how it connected to the world of science was interesting and set you apart. Now, looking back, I feel that you are more than a teacher. You are someone people can look up to, like a friend. The artifacts that you showed to the class, like your innumerable collection of minerals, the “GeoFinder” globe, and so much more, were interesting to view and use. I am very thankful for the many experiences during that time, including the fossil dig. Thank you very much. Esper [8th grade].
I remember when we did the debate project with Ms. King. That was actually one of the best parts of 6th grade for me. At first, I was really scared, because I wasn’t really comfortable doing anything like that. Before that, I never liked talking in front of the class, but that project really helped me to step out of my comfort zone, because, at the time, I had never done a debate. That has helped me so much this year. Now, I am okay with stepping out of my comfort zone, and we need to do that a lot in 7th grade. Even though I didn’t win all of my debates, that was still one of my favorite times at Randolph. In this class, I learned how to write reflections and to be comfortable talking in front of a class. This class has helped me a lot this year. - Peyton [7th grade]
Dear Mrs. Allen, This year I have realized that I have been blessed with one of the best teachers in the world. You understand everything I go through and you are always supportive and caring. You watch over me as if you knew me my whole life. Thank you for your delicious cakes and baking, I will always remember your baking. You are more than a good teacher you are a great person. Any student should be very happy to have you. I will never forget you for the impact you have had on me. From all the times I have fallen asleep, failed a quiz, and gotten off track during school you have never turned you back on me and words really can’t describe how thankful I am. Sincerely, Levon [8th grade].
Photos by David Brown and Rebecca Moore.