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Your HW Teachers are Here to Support You

By Tess ’25

Since I started attending Harvard-Westlake earlier this year, I have been to numerous welcome events, many assemblies, and dozens of Class Meetings (the once per cycle grade level meeting). One message is reiterated at every event: meet with the adults on campus. Whether it is a teacher, a dean or the school psychologist, we are encouraged to stop by the office of some Harvard-Westlake adult for help with our homework, study skills, class selection, emotional well-being, or even just checking in once in a while.

One of our first assignments in my history class was to email the teacher for a meeting so that she could meet us, check-in about how the first week of school was going, and find out how to best support each individual student throughout the course of the year. We decided to meet during one of our common free periods. Free periods are a great opportunity for students to meet with teachers. For the meeting, my teacher had thoughtfully prepared a set of questions for me to answer so that she could get to know me better, but she also gave me the opportunity to ask her any questions that I had about her class or Harvard-Westlake in general. 

During our conversation, I brought up that I am interested in social justice and human rights causes. My teacher told me that for the past few years, she had been the faculty advisor for the Social Justice club, a club that met to discuss social issues, and take action through fundraisers and activism, but that the leaders had moved on to HW’s upper campus, and therefore there was no one to run the club. She asked if I would be interested in the club. 

Interested in integrating myself into the HW community, I jumped on this opportunity, and just two weeks later, the Human Rights Club was born (rebranded from the Social Justice Club), and I started holding club meetings with my co-leader, a girl in my grade who my teacher had connected me with after our meeting, who has become one of my closest friends. So far this year, we have run a fundraiser for the education of girls in Afghanistan which you can read more about here, and have worked on another fundraiser in which we are planning to fundraise for supplies to assemble toiletry packets for the homeless of Los Angeles. 

The Human Rights Club is changing the lives of others for the better, and it changed my life for the better. Through my leadership of the club, I have felt more confident on campus, found my place, and made new friends, all through that one meeting with my history teacher. This is not the only instance of support from campus adults that I have encountered so far during my HW experience, and I know that most of my peers have had similar experiences. At Harvard-Westlake, we can count on our teachers to fully support us. 

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Tags: , , , Last modified: February 28, 2022