Teachers are an important part of a child’s development, as they often spend more time with children than the child’s parents. Whether or not people like this fact is irrelevant. If you don’t want it to be true then make it false by spending more time with your kids. In any case, the importance of good teachers cannot be stressed enough.
Unfortunately, many teachers are “average” or “ordinary”. They work with the kids and move at a fairly standard pace. Often times, the pace of the slowest student. There are, however, some teachers that break this pattern. These are the teachers who push kids to do better simply because they know that kids will do better if they are pushed. They do this is a kind and loving manner, always encouraging and building up their students, teaching them to listen and be respectful to others.
This type of teacher is one that every teacher should strive to be. Sadly, many teachers fall into the pattern of going through the motions, and instead of breaking the mold the go along to get along. If you are an educator, don’t let this be you. Know how to assess the knowledge of your students. Strive to improve and find ways to push your students to do more. Become one of these influential teachers that students will remember.
As a child I had three influential teachers whose characteristics were similar to each other, but not the same. These teachers motivated students to be better simply because they believed that the students could be better. They were also tough, in that they didn’t put up with nonsense. They had good discipline and even greater rewards. Continue reading for a little more information on each of these influential teachers.
Teacher Number 1
Early in grade school, for a year and a half, I had the same teacher since the school was small and the classes were combined. This teacher is responsible for making me a great reader in addition to being able to understand language.
She was very persistent, knew how to properly use rewards and punishments as motivators, and knew how to have fun with kids. She was a tough teacher in that she saw potential in kids and then developed that potential. Without her, I would never have been reading college-aged books in the second grade let alone any books, as I could barely read “See Spot Run” at the start of first grade.
Teacher Number 2
The second most influential teacher I had was not in the school setting, but rather in life. This man was a family friend who my parents met in church and he visited us from time to time after we moved out of town.
This man was very wise and had a career in military intelligence. He taught me to be thrifty always saving things that could be of use. However, he also told me that if I was unable to use something that I should get rid of it so someone else could use it. From him, I learned the art of keeping minimal material things and making sure that everything I kept served a purpose.
He was a very driven and determined man with a great sense of humor. Though his presence in my life was not as significant as the other teacher, without him my childhood may have been a lot less entertaining.
Teacher Number 3
The third most influential I had when I was at the end of my elementary years. This man was a very jolly person who loved to tell stories and have a good time. He valued knowledge and education and continually told me that I was too smart to go through the nonsense of the public school system. (I was homeschooled during the previous year, but hated it.)
Like the first teacher, he knew how to properly use rewards and punishments. He was a very generous man who motivated me to accelerate my education. This was due to the fact that at the beginning of the year he told all of us that he was going to teach our class similar to the way in which middle and high school was taught. About halfway through the year, I realized that I would not be able to go through six years of middle and high school.
He encouraged me to be homeschooled again because whatever I did the previous year had worked, as I had the highest grades in the class by about ten points. I took his, and others, advice and went home where I finished middle and high school in three years and then went to college at age 16.
These teachers are similar in that they all knew how to motivate people to do things that would be beneficial in the future. They saw potential that others failed to notice and were capable of activating that potential. In addition, they had humor and knew how to have fun and entertain kids. These are all valuable characteristics when working with children.
Without great teachers, great students would not exist.