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Ariana Cipriano

A teacher is not just an educator, they are the shapers of the youth. A teacher can make both unique and profound impacts on their students’ lives, launching those students into an unlimited amount of potential. When a teacher is at their best, they can change the entire way their students view the world and the lives ahead of them. I t is not always easy to change a student’s life, which is why it takes a great teacher to do so. Some just need an extra push like the student whose math grade is just a few points shy from the A that will give them a 4.0 GPA; others may be going through something troubling in their personal lives and need someone to talk to. Whatever the student needs to help them excel, a life-changing teacher will be there for them. But what happens when a teacher goes through a life changing experience? How do they continue to push students to excel? Well, it’s not easy, but my math teacher, Hailey Loup, did it. She had her life turned upside down a year ago. On February 5th, 2016 her baby sister Emily, who was also a school teacher, was sitting at the kitchen table after work with her husband and what happened next is a nightmare. Her husband was cleaning his gun when it accidently fired shooting Emily in the chest. A tragedy as Emily did not survive. After the initial shock and crying of asking why, why did this happen, I began to be selfish and only think about myself wondering what was I going to do for a math teacher. In my mind, I just knew that there was no way Mrs. Loup would return to school. Not to mention, she taught her baby sister in the exact classroom as mine. What was I going to do? I needed a math teacher. Once the funeral was over, I was surprised to walk into class and standing at the door was Mrs. Loup. I’ll never forget that smile as she said, “Hey, Ariana.” As a student, I began to realize and understand that teachers don’t have the privilege of hiding behind a desk, or fading away into a crowd of colleagues in order to deal with emotions. She fought back tears daily. It was important for me as a student to see her emotional honesty. It taught me that it’s okay to share emotions. It also taught me that adults and teachers can be vulnerable too. Mrs. Loup connected with me on multiple levels both inside and outside the classroom. She taught me the important life lessons that will help me be successful beyond AP exams and standardized tests. The impact she has made on my life is inexplicable. Mrs. Loup has affected and changed me in so many ways that it's hard to single a few out. Under her teaching and influence I have become a kinder, nicer, and more caring person. I find that I am so much more thoughtful towards others and much less likely to judge. She changed the way that I think about mathematics mainly because through her own personal tragedies she still had that passion to teach math. There would be days where I would be in tears because I just didn’t understand math. She would come in early, stay after school, and even give up her planning period to tutor me. Sadly, I used to despise math, and it used to be my weakest subject. I just couldn't figure out how all those numbers really would take a role in my life, and after all they weren't anything important to me personally. Where would numbers get me? I now look forward to math class with great anticipation, and ever so infrequently do I get a problem incorrect. Through her I was able to acquire a love for math that I'm confident will continue to grow as I get older. She also changed the way that I think about myself. I was able to obtain a higher self esteem and a higher opinion of myself. I am able to look into the mirror and for one of the first times ever, be proud of the person that I am. She believed in me, and that's all that I really needed. She took the time to care, and not only that, but made sure that I knew she cared. That has made the difference. Mrs. Loup changed the way that I think about teachers. Before, I always respected my teachers, but I was never really aware of the amount of work a teacher puts into their job. Before this year, I never realized how much certain teachers cared, nor did I ever take the time to thank them. Before this year, I never really thought into the fact that a teacher was a person with a personality, and you could like the person that a teacher was and befriend them for it. I wish that I could have seen this before, for I had so many great teachers, but I am glad that I was able to realize it. It would have been a shame if I never would have seen it, for I truly would have missed out on some great friendships with some amazing people. Without her,
I would not be the person that I am today.

Ariana Cipriano

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