Tears well in junior, Yesenia Rosales’ eyes as she reads a personal note from AP English Language student teacher, Kim Nelson. The heart-shaped note, which doubles as a bookmark, is Ms. Nelson’s parting gifts to her students.
“Ms. Nelson is like my rock when it comes to reading,” says Rosales. “She’s like a really close aunt who you can trust. She sees your potential and helps guide you so you can see that potential.”
Student teachers will come and go but Ms. Nelson has left a significant impact on the lives of the class of 2016.
“She’s just a ray of sunshine. I have english at the end of the day, and I’m usually very tired by then,” says junior, Helen Onuorah. “However, entering the room and being greeted by Ms. Nelson always lifted my spirits. There’s always a chilled and cheery mood with her in the room.”
Besides cheery moods and her uncanny likeness to a ray of sunshine, Ms. Nelson is known throughout the junior class for her ability to truly listen to her students.
“She just has amazing listening skills for everybody and she’s always looking for the best way to teach us and herself as well,” says junior Georgia Oldham.
Courtney Williams, another member of the class of 2016, concurred with a personal anecdote.
“For broccoli book blurbs, I was having the hardest time remembering my second book. It [the assignment] was due in about three hours and I knew I wasn’t going to remember it,” says Williams. I emailed Ms. Nelson to tell her I was having a hard time remembering my book and she replied within minutes and said she didn’t have the sheet that said the book I had read. But, she remembered! I was so amazed that she remembered and it made me feel that she genuinely cares about us.”
Though Ms. Nelson has made a huge impact on her students already, she still has many goals for her future career.
“I think just having those moments where I don’t feel as much like the teacher and where I’m just learning from what you guys have to say is really cool,” says Ms. Nelson. “I want to make sure wherever I go I can figure out how to create that sort of environment where students feel free to chime in and to work through their own thought process with the rest of the class.”
As much as students have begged for Ms. Nelson to stay here at the Ann Richards School, they’re coming to terms with the fact that we’re going to have to let her go. Some students wanted to share their thoughts with Ms. Nelson herself.
“You’re gonna be an amazing teacher, in fact I believe you’re gonna be one of those teachers that changes lives,” says junior, Sarah Bustos. “We wish you could stay with us forever, but we understand you have other students out there waiting to have you so you can change the world, no matter how small of a change that is.”
“She will be incredibly missed! Everyone could use a Ms. Nelson in their life!” adds Williams.
After reading the heartfelt note and wiping away the tears in her eyes, Rosales had some parting words for Ms. Nelson.
“If you are reading this Ms. Nelson, thank you for making me remember how much fun I could have in English class. I was off the path but I’m back to where I’ve always liked to be. [You] have done your job here.”