Jeremy Boesch is an English language arts teacher at Timberland High School in Wentzville. He earned recognition as a finalist for the 2014-15 Missouri Teacher of the Year. Mr. Boesch has a “boots on the ground” view of how the Missouri Learning Standards work in the classroom, and he recently shared this story:
I am very fortunate to work in a school where high expectations are the norm, and my students work very hard to meet those high expectations. Many of my students gravitate toward several science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), Advanced Placement, and Project Lead the Way classes. The rigor is high. Unfortunately, some students tend to get overwhelmed with the work load. Last semester, for instance, I had a student who was very stressed because of her demanding course work; she considered dropping my AP Language and Composition class to alleviate her schedule. I knew that she was capable of succeeding; in spite of wanting to drop my class, she had grit. I sat down with her, and we discussed a plan to keep her in my class and to work with her on her assignments (essays, readings, quizzes, and tests). She agreed.
A few weeks ago, I received a thank you card from her. It read, “Mr. Boesch…choosing to stay in your class is one of the best things I’ve ever done. Yes, it is a tortuous battle, but I’ve already won.” I am fortunate to have been able to keep this wonderful student: She energizes the conversations we have in class, she has grown as a writer, and I have no doubts that she has succeeded on the AP Language and Composition exam. Indeed, such little moments in my life have always left me fulfilled and grateful to be a teacher. We all have our battles, don’t we? But it is always nice to have someone there to help us along the way.
What a great story! Thanks to Mr. Boesch and all the other caring, effective teachers in Missouri, our students are able to achieve the high expectations of the Missouri Learning Standards. With this type of dedication and determination, Missouri can reach the primary goal of our Top 10 by 20 intiative: All Missouri children will graduate ready for college and career.