Mr. Matheny’s classroom: an escape from stress

Krista Kroiss, Beat Editor

From the time you enter middle school, or even elementary school, the conditioning begins: junior year is coming.

When junior year comes, the final year before one applies to college, the pressure to excel is on. From SAT scores to GPA to AP classes and extracurriculars, the stress to achieve impossible standards of perfection can cause a mental break in many students.

Because I reached this mental breaking point my sophomore year, I was understandably dreading the start of junior year. I envisioned myself cramming to finish all my homework before one am and endlessly stressing over the weekly calculus quizzes.

And for the most part, this vision came true. The exception? Mr. Matheny’s class.

Each B day I shuffled into his classroom, growing more and more exhausted from cramming all my activities and school work into each day. But when I came to class focused on my to-do list, Matheny came around to each table and asked a simple question: “Hey guys, how are you?”

At the beginning of the year, it surprised me a little. Never before had my teacher made a sincere effort to ask each student how he or she was doing every day. But over time, as he consistently asked us for ways he could improve his teaching and ways he could help us, I came to realize that it’s no surprise. That’s the kind of teacher Matheny is: one who cares.

Thank you, Mr. Matheny, for caring not only about students’ learning, but also our well-being.