Every student knows the huge pressure of end-of-the-year exams. Everything you’ve worked hard and studied for all year has led up to this one last test.
That’s especially true for AP exams. They’re more difficult tests taken only by the most studious high schoolers, and good marks count as college credits.
Yet for all the practice tests and study groups students go through, they too often neglect a key part of success: being physically and mentally fresh during the test itself.
These tests can last for hours and are often scheduled early in the morning. It’s not surprising that many teens aren’t in the best state of mind while taking them.
But one teacher, after a year of prepping them for the test, stepped up to ensure his students would have the energy to stay awake for it:
He made them peanut butter and jelly sandwiches!
Brian Johnston, a teacher at Clear Springs High School in League City, Texas, knew some of his students, who were about to sit through the three-hour English AP, would neglect their breakfast that morning.
“Students are usually absolutely exhausted for the rest of the day after these exams,” Johnston told Today. “They have to go in with something in their oven.”
Inspired by an AP biology teacher at the school who used to give out snacks on test day, Johnston brought the simple ingredients to the test site, hand-making the reliable snack for any student who wanted it.
He made about 50 sandwiches that day.
Johnston’s inspiring good deed went viral after one of his students, Heather Hayes, tweeted photos of her teacher handing out the PB&Js.
While the original tweet is now set to private, it reportedly was shared over 20,000 times.
“A lot of times teachers go unnoticed, and even though it’s kind of a small gesture, it meant a lot and it made an impact on students,” Hayes said.
“It really shows that he cares about his students and wants them to do the best they can.”
The school’s principal, Gail Love, told Today that the sandwich idea was a wise decision. Due to the school’s early start time, she’s noticed that many students rely on vending machine snacks or skip breakfast altogether.
“They just don’t eat before they arrive,” Love said.
Johnston’s thoughtful gesture shows that he’s in touch with his students’ needs even outside the classroom—and that preparing your students for a big test can go beyond just teaching.