Mr Campbell in 10th grade (which seems a little late in one’s academic career to find a great teacher, I know). He got to me just as I was about to start thinking I was an idiot because I didn’t understand algebra (at all). I assumed I was smart (I mean, I was always reading, so… I must be smart I guess?), but when I got to high school, I felt completely thrown: Nothing seemed to work like it was supposed to. I was grouped in with all the other smart kids and they were walking through their material and I couldn’t grasp anything. It was as if everyone I knew took a one day class to learn Mandarin and started speaking it every day and I had no idea what was going on. 9th grade was an absolute lost year. When I hit 10th grade geometry (the class everyone assured me was the hardest math class) I was terrified. But it all made so much sense. The concepts were insanely easy to grasp. I could navigate fairly complex ideas quickly. Two months in, I was correcting minor mistakes the teacher was making on the board. But the trick was that Mr. Campbell realized that I needed this kind of boost to keep hanging on and he gave me more and more runway and freedom. A few times he would let me re-teach an idea to present “another way of seeing the concept.” It renewed my faith in myself. Not that I was any kind of genius, but that I wasn’t the idiot I was starting to myself I was. Great teachers do more than transfer information, to enable growth and the ability to know one can grow.