Growing up, my favorite teacher, by far, was Mr. Collins, my AP calculus teacher at Huron High School. The class was tough — more than I thought I could handle. But Mr. Collins never let me fail. He made sure I was present and engaged, stayed with me after class when I needed extra help, and gave me rides home when necessary. I could laugh with Mr. Collins and I could cry with him. He was even in communication with my mother about my progress. Mr. Collins set high expectations for my success, and in the end, I passed the class — and the AP exam.
I was one of a handful of black students in the classroom, and Mr. Collins was white.