As a senior I’ve struggled with many things throughout all four years of being here at West Ottawa. Most of my classes were a struggle for me, and I didn’t seem to get most of the information.
I was too shy to ask for help, and there were no teachers I was close with either, so I wouldn’t bring up that I was having a hard time. Classes became miserable for me, and graduation seemed further and further away as I was not passing my classes.
In the beginning of this my senior year I asked my counselor if I was able to take any classes online. She put me in Odysseyware, an online curriculum for students in high school. It helps give a student a second chance to pass a class that they had in the past but failed.
Students can go at their own pace, and it helps keep them on track. Each student in the class may have a different course to complete and not all students will have the same amount of classes to work on.
I was a bit hesitant but excited to see what a non-traditional class had in store for me. My first day in class, I realized that I didn’t know a lot of people. This made me more anxious as I was realizing that I would have no one to get help from.
The days that followed I noticed that students that had previously been in the class were always talking to the Lab Tech in our classroom, Wendy Mullan. They would laugh and joke but it also looked like they were getting all their work done. The more I was in class, the more I started to notice that she had a close bond with a lot of her students.
One day I stayed after class, and we talked for a little. She mentioned how everyone has a story and if I was comfortable I could share mine with her. After telling her more about myself and my life, I got comfortable with her. Soon I started liking the class more, I would ask for help and Mullan would always be happy to help me with whatever I needed.
Mullan goes above and beyond for her students, not just helping them academically but really putting forth effort to see them do well in life. Some students that were in the same situation as I also got help from Mullan and have seen good impacts on their grades.
Mullan has had an impact on Jr. Angel Garcia in many ways. Garcia was having trouble in his classes, so taking Odysseyware was the best choice for him. With Mullan’s encouragement, Garcia was motivated to get back on track.
”She really helped me get to a better place in school, even though we had our ups and downs I’m thankful that she didn’t give up on me” Garcia said.
Mullan helped Garcia by reading questions out loud to him, always believing in him and keeping him on track with all his classes until he got all his credits he needed to be considered in the right grade. Getting close with Garcia was a good thing for them both, he showed more respect to Mullan and others. She would listen and talk with Garcia if he seemed to be having a hard time in class. She would also give out good advice to make sure he stayed safe and stayed on top of all his classes.
There are many more students that have received help from Mullan and changed a lot throughout the class. Lucas Guiterez is another one of Mullan’s students. Gutierrez also had some trouble with school and just needed to find motivation to get the classes he needed done. Mullan would have Gutierrez work one on one with her, look over his assignments and retake some quizzes. For Guiterez this helped a lot; he got his classes caught up and is in a good place for school. “She makes you feel like a better person, she gives good advice and I would say she’s like a second mom to some of us,” Guiterez said.
Some days aren’t so easy which Mullan admits; frustration and even tears sometimes fill the room. Some days she has to move seats, take cell phones, and have conversations with students in the hallway. But, even on these days the students know that she just wants what is best for them and that it is all out of love.
For all that she has done for her students that really shows how much she cares for them. Not only helping them academically but also with life out of school, and that makes a big impact on both her and her students.
The bond that Mullan has with most of her students is unbreakable and can‘t be found anywhere else.