The Unforgettable Phrases from Mr. McLaughlin that Helped Me Succeed
My name is Patricia Cook, and I’m an NSHSS Ambassador from Oklahoma! I’m a junior at Southmoore High School and a student at Moore Norman Technology Center in the Electrical Trades program. If there’s one thing I could advise ANY high school student to do, it’s—LEARN A TRADE! Vocational school is free while you’re still in high school. Get to know the world you live in and learn a skill that will be forever useful. And if you’re lucky–you’ll get an amazing instructor like my own, Mr. McLaughlin. Mr. McLaughlin teaches the Electrical Trades class at Moore Norman Technology Center. And if you pay attention in his class, you will learn a lot more than just commercial wiring and conduit bending. He educates life lessons full of trust and faith for each student.
“How are you today, Miss Trish!”
We live in a tough world; maneuvering through everyday obstacles can send people into spirals. Hearing this simple phrase as I walk into class shields me from any negativity headed my way. Mr. McLaughlin understands his students and reciprocates the smiling face he usually receives from me.
“You got this, girl!”
Being a female in a male-dominated setting makes it easy to get intimidated and confused and avoid asking questions when needed. However, I have become more comfortable saying, “I have no clue what I’m doing,” because Mr. McLaughlin understands when a student is having difficulty completing their work. He never grows weary of keeping each student on track and in the know. He will explain a topic over a million times until he’s certain each & every student connects with the assignment. His simple affirmations remind me that I’m in this program for a reason–and I must know something valuable, or I wouldn’t be there in the first place.
“You’re gonna be alright, I promise!”
Mr. McLaughlin never shames a student for consistently needing help on an assignment. He takes pride in teaching and considers how each student learns differently. He recognizes the effort of a student who is struggling. There’s been plenty of times when I felt like I couldn’t tell my left from my right, but not a single one of those times has Mr. McLaughlin allowed me to doubt myself. He continuously points his students in the right direction and never leaves them in the dark.
“You just let me know, and I’ll straighten them, boys, out.”
It’s nerve-wracking to walk into a room full of boys you don’t know. During the first few days of class, I found it difficult to find a group of students with whom I could easily connect and make friends. Mr. McLaughlin reminded me that I had nothing to worry about; they were just boys interested in the same career as me. Electrician work is NOT individual work. Having a crew with me is vital to task completion and job success. He let me know he has my back, and eventually, I found my group of friends.
Mr. McLaughlin is also a veteran of the U.S. Navy. He has hundreds of stories about his time in the service. He considers his students trustworthy to share these memories with, and I always look forward to hearing more from them. I enjoy taking a break from my work and observing the gleam in his eyes when he gets to talking about his old Navy buddies. His love and compassion for the U.S. Navy is a great instance of how he cares for his students.
“I knew you could do it.”
Building a strong foundation with the people you work alongside daily is vital to happiness and success. Sometimes, the lessons Mr. McLaughlin teaches us will have nothing to do with electricity. He prepares us for life challenges and coaches us to believe in ourselves. He values respect, effort, and perseverance and sets an example daily for his students. Without Mr. McLaughlin, I would have given up on my career choice. However, he saw my potential and never allowed my bad days to interfere with my goals. His welcoming character, patience, and passion for teaching make him a solid role model in several students’ lives, especially mine. Thank you, Mr. McLaughlin. I hope someday I can represent your heart of gold and your level of intelligence.