Teachers who Inspire

Yesterday I saw a clip on the news that caught my eye. One of my children’s’ former teachers had been awarded recognition as Teacher of the Week. There was a video of him playing his guitar while his class sang along. Even though it has been almost a decade since either of my children were in his class, he still seems to be doing what he always did- making learning fun and interactive. He taught both of my children in either first or second grade and they both remember his class as one of the best they ever had.

Teachers play an important role in our lives that should not be underestimated. I remember teachers from my own childhood. Some were inspiring, like my elementary school teacher who encouraged me to explore the world, or my Algebra teacher who whet my appetite for problem-solving. There are, on the flip side, teachers you want to avoid at all costs. The high school chorus teacher was so mean that, even though I loved to sing, I switched to orchestra rather than have to listen to him yell.

Some teachers get to the point where they need to take a break and think about why they became teachers. If it was not for the love of the job or the students, they can turn into cranky, boring instructors rather than the caring, engaging role models that students deserve. I spent 10 years teaching preschoolers. I know how hard it is to motivate kids. I always tried  to keep things refreshing and challenging, pushing them to learn in ways that felt like a game. With patience and a willingness to connect with my students in different ways, I successfully produced a class of kindergarten-ready children by the end of each year.

The former students I encounter these days are well into middle school and only have vague memories of their early education; but their parents recognize me and tell me again what a great start I gave their children. It is rewarding to hear how well each one is doing and to think that they put their roots down in my class. Which brings me back to the clip I saw…

It is wonderful to see that a teacher can keep on inspiring children for 25 years. Unfortunately, this seems to be overlooked whenever it comes down to money. When our school budgets come to a vote this year, we should all think of the teachers who motivated us and recognize the true value of a good education for the next generation.

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Disrupting Class – Describing the problems of students’ motivation | astewden
  2. Trackback: From Reporter to Teacher, Carol Kloss McClellan Enjoys Her New Challenge as an Inner City Public High School Instructor « Leo Adam Biga's Blog
  3. Looking Out The Window
    Mar 26, 2012 @ 22:17:18

    I really enjoyed this post. I recently wrote a thank-you to my second grade teacher for inspiring me over 40 years ago. I am sure it came to her out of nowhere, but wanted her to know that she made a difference.



  4. Trackback: Great Teachers Inspire. Cool Teachers Build Apps. | Ideal Tuition's Official Blog

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