Teacher Appreciation: In honor of American Education Week, CHS students consider how teachers impacts their lives

Richa Louis

American Education Week, which started Monday and lasts through today, celebrates public education and honors those who ensure that every student receives a quality education.

At CHS, there are over 200 teachers who try to positively influence their students and change their lives so they succeed in the future.

Senior Grace Fairweather said she believes it’s important for teachers to be approachable and easily provide encouragement and support for students in order to improve various aspects of their lives.

From her experience, Fairweather said English teacher Allison Malloy fits these qualities. Malloy has taught for six years at this school and currently teaches Advanced Composition (W131-IU), AP Capstone Seminar and AP Capstone Research. Fairweather said Malloy helped her grow and successfully complete different academic projects during her two years as her teacher.

Fairweather said, “She influenced me mainly in helping me become more confident, inside and outside of class. I’ve always been a more shy person and she helped me to develop my presentation skills and other skills, anything in relation to English class.”

The National Education Association (NEA) defines the role of a teacher as to provide invaluable services that enable students to learn in positive, supportive environments, and that, according to Malloy, can mean a lot more than just course content.

Malloy said, “I think the first [quality of a teacher] is understanding the difference between equal and fair. I think teachers who try to equalize everything lose a lot of support from their students and a lot of the relationships that they could have made.

“Every student is different, so I think the best teachers are the ones that are going to see that and do what’s fair and right for every student.”

Malloy also said that you need to love your job to be a good teacher. “We don’t see it as a job and we are not just here teaching content, we are helping to shape kids to make them better people and to give them the skills to be successful outside of the classroom,” Malloy said. “It’s not just that, hopefully, I’m changing them, but they are making me better and they make me want to be better, as a result of who they are too.”

Assistant Principal Amy Skeens-Benton agreed with Malloy and said that when searching for teachers to hire, they look for this quality as well.

“By all means, I will take [hire] someone who needs a little help in strategies for learning how to do classroom management that absolutely loves being here and loves working with kids over someone who is a brilliant PhD that just loves content and only wants to teach because they love their content area,” Skeens-Benton said.

Sometimes those connections grow beyond the prescribed class period. Fairweather and Lahiri Chitturi, former student of Malloy and senior, eat lunch every Gold Day with Malloy. Chitturi said, “Compared to other teachers, I feel a lot more comfortable talking to Mrs. Malloy.

Fairweather said she felt this way as well, and said, “[Malloy] was different from my other teachers in that you could tell that she really cared about each student individually. If any student asked her a question, she would sit down with them and take as much time as they needed to help. She would always provide careful encouragement for all students, especially me.”