Vote for Teacher Awards Semi-Finalist Richard Walters #CFTeacherAwards

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FROM THE NOMINATION:

I would like to dedicate this acknowledgement to Richard Walters. Please allow me to take this opportunity to help you get to know this incredible human being. Richard Walters is my teacher. Without him, I don’t know where I would be today. His guidance and kindness has truly been an anchor in my high school career, and his influence continues to shape the decisions I make in life and the direction of my future. I am in Grade 12. I was born with multiple exceptionalities, I am hard of hearing and have been placed in partially integrated class environments my entire school career. In short, high school has not been an easy journey for me; filled with uncertainty, confusion, fear, anxiety, pressure and harsh judgments from my peers, and even the faculty, of those who don’t understand or have the time and patience to try. Mr. Walters understands. His patience and humour, wisdom and empathy have been a shining beacon of light in my life. It isn’t the big things, but rather the little contributions every day that I have come to depend on. Among all of his amazing qualities, Richard’s humour and imagination are what drive me out of bed every morning in anticipation of that infectious laughter. As you can imagine, there’re a lot of things about school that I am uncertain about: numbers, instructions, time constraints, speaking in front of others (especially the students!), independent research, where to sit, who to talk to or work with on an assignment. All of it scares me and stops me from being who I really am and doing what I’m capable of. Mr. Walters has always seen this about me and would go out of his way each and every day, to help me stay on the right path. When I am uncertain and need advice, Richard is prepared with an honest and sincere answer. He never judges me or anyone for our weaknesses. Instead, he reassures through compassion and creative strategies. Mr. Walters accepts all of us and is very accommodating to our individual needs. When something isn’t working, we find another way. There are never any dead ends in Mr. Walters’ class. Richard makes me believe in myself and sees in me what others can’t or won’t. He is a friend, a role model and for me, a hero. Thank you, Mr. Walters, for all you have been to me. The impact you have made on my life will be remembered and live on forever because I will one day be a man just like you. — Current student

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