Why I’m Ready for Independent Living


Taylor Hartstone, Editor in Chief

Finding a teacher that understands your personality is difficult for some students. For me, I had teachers that would tolerate me but didn’t necessarily understand me; specifically my intensity with things I’m passionate about. I was surprised when I had a teacher in my last year of high school who could finally connect with me and my peers. That teacher was Ms. McLean. 

I first had Ms. McLean as my Psychology teacher at the beginning of my senior year. I was skeptical about the class beforehand because I didn’t know how I felt about psychology, but Ms. McLean’s passion for the subject helped me learn with more attentiveness. She explained how she studied psychology in college and actually knew what she was covering in class, which was refreshing. I developed new friendships in her class and I attribute much of it to the openness Ms. McLean incorporated into her teaching. I have learned valuable life skills in her Independent Living class that I am currently taking (because I just needed to be in her class again) like resume building and budget planning. I will remember these lessons and carry them into my adult life. 

Many other students believe Ms. McLean is good at her job as well. She creates a good rapport with students throughout the school year. Natalie Wiebe, a senior at West Seattle, says, “Ms. McLean is very nice and I can tell it comes easily. She connects with students.” Ms. McLean’s impact on her classes is felt widely, and this proves how much she cares. 

Ms. McLean’s work is sometimes underrecognized by those who don’t have her class, but Stella Allen, another senior, believes her priority to students is what makes her great. Allen says, “She actually puts in the effort as an educator and understands why connecting with students is a priority when it comes to a comfortable and productive learning environment.” Considering the rough transition to online learning in 2020, and the equally difficult transition back to in-person school in 2021, Ms. McLean has shown she is able to create an environment where students feel comfortable learning and creating. 

Ms. McLean is a relatively new teacher to West Seattle High School, last year being her first time working at this school. While jumping into a new environment is not easy, she has shown up and proven exactly why students appreciate her so much. I am constantly recommending underclassmen to sign up for either Psychology or Independent Living throughout their high school career so they can also experience the pleasure of having her as a teacher. My friends love her just as much as I do, and we try our best to make that known.

Ms. McLean, we hope you know you deserve to be appreciated not just for this one week, but throughout the entire school year. Your effort deserves to be heard and known. While only a couple students had their input on this piece, others would strongly agree that your work ethic helps them thrive. Keep up the great work!