WCHS appreciates teachers


By Ari Dimitoglou, Photo Manager

For decades, the first week of May has been dedicated to honoring the impact teachers have made on students and fellow staff members, but what does being a teacher at WCHS during Staff Appreciation Week exactly mean?

At WCHS, it is an annual tradition for students to write thank you notes at the start of Teacher Appreciation Week and give them out to teachers throughout the week. Many teachers agree that this is the perfect way to show appreciation, and that a small thank you note can go a long way.  

Having 22 years of experience as a teacher, 8 of them being at WCHS, Algebra and Geometry teacher Hsinyu Ho started teaching in order to be a positive role model. His passion for helping students succeed in math allowed him to leave a lasting impact on anyone who stepped into his classroom.

Even though Ho did not remember participating in Teacher Appreciation Week when he was a student, he truly enjoyed reading all of the notes that his students gave him because they showed him his ability to touch the lives of students, even just for 45 minutes a day.

¨I don’t have a favorite form [of gratitude] because any appreciation is important and it lets [teachers] know that you’re sincerely grateful for what they do for you,¨ Ho said.

Having grown up in India, French teacher Bharati Umarji learned that appreciating her teachers when she was a student allowed her to enjoy what was being taught in school and inspired her to pursue a career in teaching.

“When I was in school, every week was Teacher Appreciation week,” said Umarji. “Teachers [were] worshipped in the country where I grew up.”

Many teachers believe that while it is important to teach confidence and leadership skills to students, what the teachers learn from their students each day is more special than anything taught in a classroom.

“My favorite part of teaching is the interaction with students, who are younger than me,” Umarji said. This gives me an insight into what young people are thinking. It also gives me an opportunity to touch their lives in some small measure.”

Thinking back to a trigonometry class at the beginning of his teaching career, Ho recalled a student that was excellent at math, but was unusually quiet in class. After she graduated from high school, Ho arrived at school after summer vacation and found a card from her in his mailbox.

“[The letter] said that she failed math two years in a row. She was expecting to continue failing this year with me. She was surprised when she was understanding the homework and was succeeding in a math class for the first time,” Ho said. “She thanked me profusely for something that I had no knowledge of doing. This definitely left an enduring impression on me.”

Knowing that he was able to help a student succeed, Ho felt that it was not only the students’, but his duty to do his best each day when he walked into the classroom.

“I heard a good quote the other day- ‘students won’t care to learn until teachers learn to care,’” Ho said.“This is truly why I spend a lot of time building relationships with my students.”