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Steven Jackson – Timpanogos High School

Dear Teacher Feature,

It is with great pleasure that I recommend Mr. Jackson as a candidate for your Teacher Feature award. Never in my eleven years of being a student of public education have I ever encountered a teacher with such passion for what they do. His energy and enthusiasm are contagious to anyone who sets foot in his classroom with the intention of learning. Personally, he has turned me from a student who struggled in and hated math, to one who comprehends, excels, and enjoys it. Going into AP Calculus was a daunting prospect to me, but my prospective has changed so much because of Mr. Jackson. Instead of thinking, “This is too hard, I’ll just not do my homework,” I now think, “What else can I do to make sure I am doing everything right?” And I know that I am not the only student who has changed in that regard this year. It all comes down to the fact that instead of telling you that you’re wrong and need to work harder, Mr. Jackson takes time out of his schedule to work through the problems with you and make sure that the key ideas from the curriculum are clear. That idea goes a long way in a high school student, even so far as to change an outlook on a class.

One of the first things that I noticed about Mr. Jackson was his genuine respect and caring for his students. Almost every day, Mr. Jackson stays after school and arrives early to work with students. In fact, when I leave the building around an hour and a half after school, I have seen students in his classroom working to understand difficult concepts. At one point this year, I was very sick with pneumonia, and had to miss over a full week of school. Instead of being like other teachers who gave me my make up work and said there was 3 days to finish it, Mr. Jackson gave me the assignments, notes, and reviewed concepts until they were crystal clear in my mind, and then gave me time to finish the missed work. Within days I was fully caught up with the class. He honestly cares that you understand the math and believe in yourself. Instead of being an unapproachable teacher, Mr. Jackson made it clear from the beginning of the course that he would always be there when we need help. That has made a difference in my comprehension and passion for math.

Calculus is not an easy subject, to teach or learn. Yet Mr. Jackson has mastered teaching the course to the point where it is like science, constant and predictable. Never has a student come to class without prior knowledge of a quiz or a test. The notes are all online, so if you missed something in class, you can go on to his website and go through the entire lesson as many times as needed. Any questions that anyone has are answered perfectly and clearly. I can remember one day where I worked out the solution to a problem, and though I did the right work, ended up with different possible answer. So when I went to Mr. Jackson for clarification and he didn’t have an answer, he went and found out why what happened occurred and came to me with a full page explaining it. I was blown away by the fact that he would spend so much effort on one student’s question. It is that extra effort that brought me to nominate Mr. Jackson for the Teacher Feature award.

By his actions, Mr. Jackson shows students how life should be lived: with respect and caring for others. Indeed, every student is equal in his eyes. There is not a student that I know who does not hold Mr. Jackson in the highest respect. When I look back on my high school years later in life, I am sure that one of the first things that will surface is Mr. Jackson and the amazing person that he is.

I hope that you will consider Mr. Jackson for this award, for which he most assuredly deserves for his hard work and dedication to myself and my fellow students at Timpanogos High School!

Sincerely Yours,

Joshua Thomas