Chemistry students make teacher feel appreciated

Third and fourth period AP Chemistry students surprised teacher Carolyn Horst in her classroom recently by giving her a gift to welcome her back after she missed three days of class because of a car accident.

“I definitely teared up because it was not at all expected,” Horst said. ‘It caught me off guard.”

It started when Horst missed school to take her dad to the doctor and on their way home they got into a car accident.

“Everyone is OK,” Horst said. “My car had to go to the shop and my dad went to the hospital, but nothing too bad.”

Although, it wasn’t serious, her third and fourth period class found out what happened before Horst got back from substitute teacher, Mrs. Bailey, and wanted to show they hoped everything was OK.

“She’s an understanding teacher who connects with us individually,” sophomore Taqwa Naas said. “By letting us know that it’ll be fine and that we’ll always be OK in the end, and we felt the need to reciprocate it especially when she had a rough week.”

So her students put together a group chat with the whole class to put together the gift basket and waited outside Horst’s class in the hallway until the bell rang for third period to present Horst the welcome back gift.

“It was super sweet,” Horst said.

The gift basket included: Dr. Pepper, anti-stress lotions and sprays, a stuffed animal, an orchid, chocolate and three gift cards.

“It was really nice stuff, Horst said. “And I’m not a really sappy person and I definitely don’t like to cry in front of people so I tried really hard to hold it back but it was hard.”

Horst seemed to have appreciated it and her students in third and fourth period seemed happy to show their appreciation outside of teacher appreciation week.

“We really felt that Horst has been working really hard,” Naas said. “Ap Chem is a rigorous course that is not easy to understand especially when it includes so many college level concepts that have to be taught a certain way for high schoolers to understand.”

So, when considering that it’s currently teacher appreciation week, students apart of the welcome back gift seem to enjoy the idea of a week for teacher appreciation.

“I do appreciate my teachers.” Naas said. “They have one of the most difficult jobs of leading students to success.”

Meanwhile, Horst seems to disagree when reflecting on her experience on April 22.

“I think teacher appreciation week is a really nice gesture,” Horst said. “But it’s put on by the PTA and the parents so it’s nice having something from the students.” 

However,  Horst seems to appreciate and enjoy teaching at West Shore whether just teaching or being appreciated by students and the PTA and parents.

“It definitely is more special,” Horst said. “But don’t get me wrong me wrong; I love the stuff they do during teacher appreciation week too. Free food is always good it just means a lot when things come personally from the students.”

By Sierra Vehec