You may have had a teacher who had a positive impact in your life. That person may have been a mentor, a coach or just someone who was there when you needed guidance. However, you may not know just how much of an impact you had in that teacher’s life.

Teachers at Southwest High School have unique and interesting stories about how their students have inspired them.

Arturo Zavala has been teaching English at Southwest for six years. He likes being able to work with the subject that he loves and inspire kids to be the best they can be.

“Most of all what I love is the kids. The kids are essential, and they’re the best part of the job,” he said.

Zavala also explained the hardships he has faced as a teacher.

“It’s the emotional problems that the kids have in the sense that when you really connect with them, you actually are sad when they’re going through certain things,” Zavala said. “You have certain kids with personal problems or relationship problems, and each kid has their own background story, so I think the hardest part is every single day each kid has a different situation happening at that current moment in time in your classroom.”

Susan Glasgow has been teaching English at Southwest for 22 years, and she said she loves being able to work with kids.

“I enjoy the kids the most because it keeps me young and keeps me thinking younger, and they’re such an inspiration because they’re so full of knowledge and spirit,” she said.

Glasgow also said it’s important to keep an open mind when teaching high school students.

“I’d like to think I’m open and liberal, but then someone will come along that opposes my views and I have to accept that, too. So teaching has helped me listen to all sides,” she said.

Nick Santana has been teaching history at Southwest for 12 years and said he likes teaching because working with kids is more of a hobby than a job.

“Sometimes I look at you guys, and I could totally have my kids hang around with you because of how confident you guys can be sometimes, how funny you guys can be sometimes, and I’m always entertained,” Santana said.

He also explained how his students help him see his success as a teacher.

Santana said, “I have this drawer where I keep letters that students have written to me, and I keep them there to remind me that I did have some success and I did help them. That’s how my students help me when I feel like I’m not doing my best.”

Ed Tamayo has been teaching at Southwest for seven years and likes seeing how his students grow both physically and intellectually.

“Some of my students have taught me that sometimes we just need to be that one person who steps up and shows the kids that things can get better when they’re going through things. We can be that hope for them,” Tamayo said.