Most students seem to have a standard relationship with their teachers: they sit down when the bell rings, listen to them teach during class, and leave when the bell rings again. However, not everyone knows how much effort our teachers here at MVHS put into making each one of us succeed in their class, and, sometimes, in life. In many cases, this helping hand extends further than just the 50 minutes of class. While we may not always acknowledge it, our dedicated faculty deserves more credit than they are usually given.
“I make myself available to help students during lunch and I have a group that comes in during seventh period on a regular basis. If people want to come in early, I’ll do that,” said math teacher, Sarah Good. She spends time with students to help them understand concepts that they have with in her class and will work around her schedule to do that. To show just how valuable taking some extra time with a teacher is, all you have to do is look around and see the success stories that are living evidence of our faculty’s support. Just this year, Good had a student whose grade jumped from an F to a B by stopping by before school, during lunch, and after school for help with homework and concepts. If you aren’t doing well in a class, “Just ask!” she says. “A lot of us are flexible and are happy to help.”
Social Studies teacher Sophia Caramagno acts similarly, helping her students in her free time and relishes in seeing them reach “that moment where they finally get it and they’re like ‘Oh my god I get it!’ and I’m like ‘Yes! We did this together! We built this beautiful thing in your brain!’” She is very proud of those moments because they demonstrate to a student who may not have been so confident in their academic abilities that hard work really does pay off in the long run. In addition to helping students after school, Caramagno gives her students her cell phone number, something she has been doing for the last ten years. Because of this, students are able to contact her in the middle of an assignment to get a quick question answered. However, Caramagno says that, “I’ve had kids call me when they were lost, and couldn’t find their train station, and have had kids call me when they were at a party that suddenly went crazy and they need to get out of there, and I’ve had kids call me when they broke up with their boyfriend and they’re super upset, or they’ve scored first place in a cheer competition.”
She enjoys being able to help with her students’ personal lives, but can also offer advice to students seeking extra help with school related problems. Caramagno adds, “If it’s academic help, I would find the teacher who you feel you have the greatest connection to, and ask for their advice. Usually they have one person they have to decide if they’re going to trust. And for my students, I hope that person is me.”
While it may seem like teachers try to dock every possible point on your test, they are fully invested in your learning and want to do whatever it takes to get their students to a high level understanding that meets grade level requirements. Ultimately, it’s up to you if you want to seek out help, but always know there is a generous and supportive hand waiting from your teachers if you ever need it. While it’s their job, helping kids grow is what they love to do and as Mrs. Caramagno says, “That just brings a level of delight in my life that I wouldn’t ever have if I didn’t teach.”