Tennessee Department of Education
Williamson County rising sophomore Hannah Balint reminds us what it is like to size up your middle school teachers on the first day of school. Will this teacher give me a lot of homework? Will she help me if I don’t understand? Hannah writes about her eighth-grade math teacher who, yes, assigned a lot of homework, but also ensured that Hannah and her peers were equipped with the skills needed to excel in their math courses for many years to come. Hannah won the high school category of our “Why I am Thankful to My Teacher” essay contest this May and a $500 scholarship to the college of her choice.
By Hannah Balint, Rising 10th grader, Page High School
Hannah Balint is a ninth-grade student at Page High School.
I sat down in an empty desk in the far corner of the room, staring at Mrs. Tidwell, trying to guess whether or not she would fill my afternoons with hours of homework.
As a grumpy eighth grader on the first day of the last year of middle school, all I wanted was to be finished with my long and hard middle school experience and move on to high school, and the last thing I wanted was another difficult math teacher. As everyone settled into class, Mrs. Tidwell started talking about how she loved homework and planned to give it every night that she was legally allowed. In her words, “If I’m here you have it, and if I’m dead, I left it!” I was silently groaning when she decided to start teaching us right away. She lifted a marker to the whiteboard and started writing algebraic equations so fast my eyes could barely even follow, looking at us expectantly, wanting us to write it down as she wrote. I stared in open-mouthed shock. Little did I know, however that this teacher would change my academic career forever.
The moment Ms. Tidwell realized Hannah’s winning essay was written about her.
The moment that she started talking, I thought that the year would be impossibly hard and that I would hate every minute of it. I soon realized that I had the completely wrong attitude. Mrs. Tidwell worked through half of our homework with us, making sure that we understood every concept thoroughly before she expected us to do it on our own. She also created a way of factoring called The Box, which I now use in geometry. She wrote so fast that my hands hurt trying to keep up, but by the end of the first semester I was writing faster than her! This skill is helping me to this day. In her class, we made projects that we would be able to use in the future, such as a portfolio of Algebra I skills that we could look back on for reference. She did everything to help us, even when she could have helped herself instead. Many people suggested that she try to sell her Box idea, but she said that she didn’t need to. She just wanted to use it to help her students.
She made class entertaining by throwing in words like “bumpfuzzle” (my personal favorite) and laughing after everything she said, a habit that everyone called her “after giggle.” She is a brilliant woman who taught in ways that seemed hard in the beginning, but over time became very manageable and helpful to us. She explained things to us and made sure that we understood them, which is one of the most important things that a teacher can do for his or her students. She did everything with our futures in mind, which is why I am thankful for her. I will never forget the wonderful impact that Mrs. Tidwell made on all of us.
Amy Tidwell is still bumpfuzzling through Algebra I at Page Middle in Williamson County Schools.
The first day if a new school is very difficult because you don’t know any one and u feel all alone. Most kids do good because they are a people person which can help because they talk to people and know were or how to get around from talking to other kids. There are also kids that don’t talk as much to other people they don’t know either because there shy .So this I how I overcame the obstacles on my first day.
The most memorable first day I had was when I went to Kenny Guinn middle school. I knew no one in my home room so I sat there for a moment and the teacher began to call roll call then after that passed the kids in the class began to talk and so nothing. the teachers got their attention and explained rules and regulations. shortly after that some kid s started getting kinda loud so the teacher got their attention he sent one of the three to another class and his friend threw a paper airplane instead of the teacher doing something to punish he made a funny remark about the kid. The bell sone rang and we all got up and head off to our next class remember the first class I had was science,at first I was about the tenth student in the classroom I noticed one of my friends walked in the classroom and sat next to me . I told him how frustrated I was and he told me to “just don’t worry about it and calm down”. so after he convinced me to calm down
and I began to relax. The teacher then started her lesson plan, then she explained her classroom rules and regulations shortly after that she told us what we were going to do the rest of the school year. When she had finished, the class began to talk. that was when I realized my friend that was sitting next to me, as I mentioned earlier had the next class with me. dong dong dong the bell has just rang so we headed for our next class,
that next class was math. and he began to do the same as the first teacher then that class ended so we my friend and I went to lunch.
The most exciting part of the hole day was the lunch period .Were I got lucky enough to meet most of my friends there that day so that was a big relief. I ate some lunch that help because the hole day I was feeling kind of sick so that helped me replenish my self, then we all started talking to one another after a short amount of time we all got confused so then we laughed at ore selves for being so stupid. then I diced to walk over to this girl I liked after being convinced that nothing terrible can happen and it won’t be the end of the world so I did it and I then had a date to the dance thing they were having, the school was throwing it for the new year. So the day has gone smoothly and not too difficult in anyway or manner.
Soon after lunch ended we/all the kids went to class then I went to my next class the same routine was used for the lesion plane for the last four class and once that was over it was a little frustrating to find my buss but then I found it just in time and when I got home I said hi to my dad and then had something to eat. And I learned if I was to ask someone I don’t know can still help me and being shy has its down falls.