"If you will take the time to work with me, trust me, and do the things I'm going to teach, you will absolutely pass this test."
It's that kind of support that students love about Myndi Hardgrave. She's always on their side. Creating a safe, non-bullying atmosphere is important to her at Hanford West. Check out her classroom, you'll see the word "respect," everywhere you look.
"It's not like any other class where everybody's entitled to their teacher's opinion. You can have a say and people will mostly agree with you and you feel supported."
Besides teaching English, Ms. Hardgrave helps with the Hanford West Partnership Academy, a program for at-risk students. Her mission is to reach them, and make their lives better.
"We basically create a family at school for them. So they not only have a family environment at home that hopefully is supportive and motivating, but then they have a family at school as well."
"She really opened my eyes because I really thought this world was cruel. And when I came into the clubs and came into her class, I really felt like she understands."
Eight years ago, some Ms. Hardgrave's students asked her to lead the new GSA, the Gay Straight Alliance Club. She said yes, and it's become one of the largest organizations on campus. But back then the decision wasn't easy.
"Honestly, I was a little frightened because I wasn't out to my students or really my staff at that point, as a gay teacher. And I didn't really want to be out there, but at the same time, I know our students needed a role model."
And Hanford West certainly has that in Myndi Hardgrave.
She's a teacher who cares, and our Educator of the Week.
Ms. Hardgrave was recently featured on the cover of California Educator Magazine. She also appears in three YouTube videos designed to stop bullying in schools.
If you'd like to nominate someone to be our Educator of the Week, it's easy! Just go to our website, KSEE24.com. Then, click on community, then submission. Tell us why your choice should be educator of the week!
Every week, the winning teacher and her classroom will receive a $124 gift certificate from GW School Supply. They'll also get their names engraved on a brick on the 'Teacher and Friends of Education Honor Wall', at Fresno State's Kremen School of Education.