A whole new slant on LEO teachers

Sophia Alaniz, Web Editor

I have been at LEO for 10 days now and the thing that would make me the happiest is never going back. I have never craved dysfunction junction, the bad smell that emits from some of the bathrooms or the dancing teachers in between classes on Fridays this much. I can feel myself slowly losing my mind; social isolation is the worst thing for an extrovert and frankly, me. I am not a happy camper at this place, but one thing that helps enlighten my experience are the people I am allowed to talk to, the teachers. LEO is home to a diverse and interesting staff of 17 teachers, 2 counselors and 2 administrators. Some are substitute teachers and then there are full-time teachers that chose to come to LEO because they enjoy the environment more than a normal school. Not the prison-like environment we feel as students, but the environment where you are given the opportunity to work one on one with a student and actually build a relationship.

I have spoken to many of the teachers at LEO, because I need to find a way to talk. I don’t   just talk about my school work with them, I also talk about their lives. I feel that students, especially the ones in LEO, collectively forget that the teachers are just like us. They have hobbies and plans this upcoming weekend, but more importantly they were once kids too. I spoke to one teacher about how in high school he was also a bit rambunctious. He told me a story about a chemistry lab that went completely south. His group wanted to prove that they could make a lawn mower run on green fuel instead of its less attractive alternative, petroleum. Before they could even find out if their hypothesis was true the experiment literally blew up in their faces. The experiment exploded due to them leaving the chemicals on the burner for an extended period of time. This caused the whole school to evacuate. On top of that, the entire student body had to deal with the smell of rotten corn for two weeks after the incident. Some of the teachers are more understanding of students at LEO because they have been in the same situation.

Each of them tell me the same thing, “we want you guys out of here as bad as you guys want to leave.” They also tell me that no matter how small the incident was that brought the student to LEO every one of them will learn a lesson. It may take students years to realize what the lesson is, but it is there. The teachers at LEO genuinely care about the students. They’re like any other teacher, they want to see you succeed and grow up. That’s why they also always tell students to come visit, but never actually stay when they finally do leave LEO. They like to hear how we are doing after we leave “prison” and make sure we are being the best students we can.