Jessica Cassity, Weber High School
The following was submitted by Camille Pollard.
“My daughter is a sophomore in high school. High School math has been very overwhelming and difficult. The first quarter she spent many nights, for hours with my husband trying to help her understand and finish her math assignments. There was much frustration and many tears. Lots of stress for all of us. Part of the difficulty was in the fact that my husband having graduated from high school almost 30 years ago learned math in a much different way than it is taught today. So he would spend time every night learning the math and then trying to help my daughter. She would then be even more confused and frustrated because it was not the way she was being taught at school.
I finally emailed Ms. Cassity to ask for any help or suggestions. She was overwhelmingly helpful. I have found over the years with other kids, when I have asked some teachers for help, instead of being willing to help they are instantly defensive, thinking I am questioning their teaching. It makes for a very strained teacher/parent relationship, which is quite sad. I would always hope all teachers would be open to thinking about the child first, and their ego second. This was for sure the case with Ms. Cassity. She was very open and concerned about my daughter. She knew that I was in no way questioning her teaching. She gave us many options, from lists of student tutors, to changing my daughters flex time to her classroom, to being open for extra help anytime before or after school. She told me concerns she had with my daughter and her learning style and ways to help with that.
My daughter is now in her flex class where she can get more one on one help. She still struggles, and Ms. Cassity has noticed and realized the way that she processes and learns information is different from others. She went beyond just lumping my daughter in a category with all students and has treated her as the one. She set up a special way for her to take tests that decreases her level of stress and helps her understand what she is being tested on without being so overwhelmed. She has also treated my daughter as a person. She feels like she is a friend that cares about her future. Ms. Cassity loves math, and she wants others to learn it and love it. She is not just a warm body in front of a classroom. She wants the students to learn the math they need to learn so they can progress to the next class. She has been seeking novel approaches to teach “the one”. She even awarded my daughter student of the month in math, not because she was getting the best grade, but because she was working so hard. I appreciate her seeing beyond what most teachers see and looking at each student as an individual.
Math is still a struggle , but my daughter is pressing forward and feeling like she can do it, because of the kindness, time, teaching and support of Ms. Cassity. Ms. Casstiy deserves to be rewarded.”