It is not an exaggeration to say that a great teacher can change a student’s life. There are an endless amount of great teacher stories that attest to the benefits of a strong relationship between an educator and pupil.
As some of the most influential role models for developing students, teachers are responsible for more than just academic enrichment. If you want to be a great educator, you must connect with your pupils and reach them on multiple levels, because the best teachers are committed to their students’ well-being both inside and outside the classroom. By forging strong relationships, educators are able to affect virtually every aspect of their students’ lives, teaching them the important life lessons that will help them succeed beyond term papers and standardized tests.
It is not always easy to change a student’s life, which is why it takes a great teacher to do so. Some just need an extra push like the student whose math grade is just a few points shy from the A that will give them a 4.0 GPA; others may be going through something troubling in their personal lives and need someone to talk to. Whatever the student needs to help them excel, a life-changing teacher will be there for them.
While you will spend your entire career learning the different ways you can change your students’ lives, here are three aspects that are directly affected by great teachers:
A great teacher makes learning fun, as stimulating, engaging lessons are pivotal to a student’s academic success. Some students who are more prone to misbehavior, truancy or disengagement are more dependent on an engaging teacher. Making your classroom an exciting environment for learning will hold the students’ fascination, and students learn best when they are both challenged and interested. It’s part of motivating students, which may not be easy, but which can benefit students immeasurably in the long run.
Have you ever had a teacher who inspired you to work harder or pursue a particular goal? Were you inspired to become an educator by one of your own great teachers?
Inspiring students is integral to ensuring their success and encouraging them to fulfil their potential. Students who are inspired by their teachers can accomplish amazing things, and that motivation almost always stays with them. Inspiration can also take many forms, from helping a pupil through the academic year and their short-term goals, to guiding them towards their future career. Years after graduation, many working professionals will still cite a particular teacher as the one who fostered their love of what they currently do and attribute their accomplishments to that educator.
Teachers can also be a trusted source of advice for students weighing important life decisions. Educators can help their pupils pursue higher education, explore career opportunities and compete in events they might otherwise have not thought themselves able to. Students often look to their teachers as mentors with experience and knowledge, and, as an educator, you will almost definitely be asked for advice at some point during your career.
Did you know that one in four students drops out of school or that every nine seconds, another student drops out? Dropping out is a decision that students won’t likely come to you about, but an adept teacher can notice the indications that a student is struggling and intervene before it’s too late. Aside from educating them on the hard facts about dropping out, teachers can also help assess the problem and figure out an alternative. In such situations, teachers undoubtedly have the ability to change the lives of students.
Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning
Higher Education Teaching Certificate
Deepen your understanding of higher-order teaching practices and broaden your skill set while creating a unique and inclusive strategy for your specific context.