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Association of California School Administrators
Association of California School Administrators
Thank you, teachers!
By Noah Holm | May | June 2022
These past two years have been very difficult for everyone, not just for my family, my friends, my fellow classmates, but also for my teachers. No one realized that the world would shut down and we would all have to move to distance learning. We were faced with a lot of challenges, worries and uncertainties. And now, with returning back to in-person learning, we are faced with new changes and challenges. I am grateful that one thing has remained constant: the help of my teachers.
During distance learning, my AVID teacher, Ms. Elicia Placencia, made sure that we were always having fun in class over Zoom. She took the time to build a sense of community. Last year many students struggled and participation in class was a challenge. This was not the case in Mrs. Placencia’s classes. Students were constantly engaged and excited to attend her class. She helped me stay organized and made sure that all the students were getting all the help they needed with tutoring. She created an Instagram to help the students keep in contact with her. Every year, she plans and holds an amazing College Kick-Off Week, and she even did this during distance learning. She had the community come together and celebrate the students and their future over Zoom and by a drive-thru celebration. During distance learning, she brought in a guest speaker, Austin Barnes, a famous Dodger player. It was so exciting to hear from a real-life baseball player. She made learning fun, even over the computer.
Now that we are back in person, learning face to face, I continue to see how hard my teachers are working. My teachers have been very supportive of me this semester. Mr. Aurelio Cortez, my history teacher, has helped me to enjoy history and helped me participate in the History Day competition. He is always helping us. He helps us during lunch, before and after school, and even on the weekends to make sure we get the help we need to do well on our History Day projects. This year, I won a gold medal for my documentary on the Geneva Conventions. I used to think history was boring, but now I find it interesting. Mr. Cortez is very interactive and makes history fun with his stories and information.
My coding and robotics teacher, Mr. Brian Curran, has taught me how to code a robot and encouraged me to join our Vista Height Middle School’s eSports team. He is very patient and encouraging. Whenever I have trouble with a code, he’s always willing to help and explain everything to me. I have been able to realize that I would like a future career in computer science and programming. This year, I have been able to step out of my comfort zone and have fun.
I know teachers are working hard right now. Things are constantly changing and teachers have to be flexible. Students, staff, and teachers are in and out of school because of COVID-19. I know this makes things hard for everyone. Both of my parents are educators and I see how hard they are working as well. I am thankful for the teachers I have and the support they have given me during distance learning and in person.

Noah Holm is in 8th grade at Vista Heights Middle School in the Moreno Valley Unified School District.
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