For students who are struggling, sometimes the difference between success and failure can start when a teacher takes the time to listen.

In these two stories from our National Teacher’s Initiative, teachers go beyond the classroom to help their students.

In 2004, Kate Musick (top left) was teaching third grade at T.C. Walker Elementary school in Gloucester, Virginia. When Harleé Patrick (top right) walked into the room Musick saw a troubled child.

Harleé is now a teenager, and the two came to StoryCorps to talk about how she made it through that year.


The second story comes from Los Angeles, where 19-year-old Jose Catalan (above right), who is studying to become a math teacher, sat down with his former high school teacher Carlos Vizcarra (above left) to talk about how they became friends.

Originally aired April 29, 2012 on NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday.