This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.

We all have a teacher in our lives that is our favorite. Mine started out as an unlikely favorite. He was mean. He yelled. He was hard.

And it was exactly what I needed.

Math and I do not get along. My brain just doesn’t think that way. Sure I can add a few numbers together but when we start talking geometry and calculus, my brain just stops working. I had tutors. I had friends that tried to help.

But still nothing. I just didn’t get it.

Until I stepped foot into Mr. Haber’s classroom.

I dreaded walking into that classroom. I had heard the horror stories. I immediately tried to get a seat in the back but that was so not happening. We had to sit alphabetically. And I ended up second in the row.  At first, I used this as a chance to hide. I would duck behind the girl in front of me.

But it didn’t always work.

The thing about Mr. Haber is that he could immediately smell your insecurity. He knew the ones that weren’t living up to their full potential.

And he pushed.

Hard.

Because of his pushing, I would stay up later working on Calculus homework. I would try to anticipate his questions for the next day in class.

He pushed me to be a better student.

I didn’t fully appreciate his style of teaching until I was in college. I visited him one day during my freshman year. He was in the middle of a class but he invited me in. He stood me in front of the class and said, “Tell them what you thought of my class.”

And I was honest.

“I hated it. But you will thank him later.”

I waited in the hallway until his class ended and I thanked him. I thanked him for pushing me. I thanked him for making me a better student. I thanked him for helping me.

His response?

“No, thank you.”

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Teachers aren’t often thanked enough. Hilton HHonors, the loyalty program for Hilton Worldwide’s 10 distinct hotel brands, has an amazing program to thank teachers just like Mr. Haber.

Recently, they announced the 30 finalist for its Teacher Treks Travel Grant Competition. Now through April 30th, you can vote for your favorite finalist to help determine the 15 finalists. The 15 finalists will receive a grant to travel and to experience first-hand the subject that they teach, enriching their curriculum, and inspiring their students to explore the world!  Each vote counts as an entry toward a $250 Hilton HHonors gift card! 10 random winners will be chosen to receive one Hilton HHonors Gift Card. You can vote once per day until April 30, 2013. Winners will be announced  in May 2013.

What teacher would you thank?

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