Teaching by Example

April 29, 2012
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I have never met any teacher quite like Ms. Brandt. From the first moment I stepped into her classroom as a timid freshman, to yesterday as a junior dreading the upcoming AP exams, she has never done any less than her best to coach us through the complex world of mathematics. When Ms. Brandt teaches, strange math symbols that resemble ancient hieroglyphics suddenly become understood. When she walks us through each lesson, impossible problems suddenly become possible. Every day, she consistently provides the worked-out solutions to homework and more, solutions she herself had prepared. With such an abundance of resources, her knowledge and understanding complete, her teaching effective and thorough, Ms. Brandt’s teaching is much coveted. I have seen students throw fits over not having Ms. Brandt as their math teacher.
However, it is not her teaching alone that causes us to fall in love with her class. It is not solely how great a teacher she is that motivates us to diligently learn.
It is her character.
Her patience, her perseverance, and her effort to give us the best education have touched each of us deeply and personally. She is an optimist and always strives to be in school to help us, even if she is ill. One year, she forced a compromise with her doctor so she could make it to school to be with us. Even with injuries, she has still gone to school. Her dedication to her students is seen in the fact that she has accumulated enough sick days to go absent for over a year. It’s astounding how much she sacrifices for our benefit. Often, she is available before and after school, never failing to give us what we need.
Ms. Brandt’s generosity is what makes her the most memorable. She keeps two baskets of candy filled throughout the year, available as quick energy for our busy minds. Annually, she hosts an AP study session, complete with a variety of snacks and drinks, for eight complete hours to give us more than enough time to ask questions and study. Her willingness to go far beyond what most teachers offer is evident in the enthusiasm reciprocated by her students who earn the top scores in the district.
Ms. Brandt is truly a unique teacher that I know I will never come across again. I have had her for three wonderful, memorable years, full of smiles, laughter, and learning. She will retire after this year, after teaching for more than several decades.
But I want to make her known before she leaves, because teachers like Ms. Brandt are very rare. Teachers who give everything they have to their students. Teachers who sacrifice so much for so little. Teachers who do more than teach, who live as role models. Ms. Brandt deserves all the recognition possible for the impact she has had for so many generations of students. For making such a positive difference through her kindness and generosity.
We love you Ms. Brandt!





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