Teachers are important members of our community. They help build the future by shaping the minds of kids, by educating and guiding the people who are going to make up the next generation. Teachers make a huge difference in our world by inspiring students and by bringing the light of knowledge into their lives.
Think of a favorite teacher of your own—chances are it has been many years since you’ve been in their class, but you still vividly remember the lessons you learned or the ways in which your thinking was impacted by them. All too often, teachers are underappreciated and undervalued. As a token of appreciation, we’d like to reflect for a moment on the ways that teachers make a difference in our world and why we think they’re so important.
It may not happen in every single class, but when you are inspired by a teacher, it’s like someone’s lit a fire within you. Teachers provide the spark that develops into a passion, whether it’s for science or the written word or something else entirely. School is where many people are first exposed to their true potential, and teachers facilitate that.
Teachers are also inspiring because of what they do. They devote so much time and energy into their students, and it’s often with little recognition. But if you talk to any teacher, they’ll tell you recognition isn’t what they are looking for anyways, and that kind of selfless dedication is inherently inspiring.
When a kid says “I can’t,” teachers are there to tell them “yes you can.” Encouragement is important, especially for kids who are younger or more timid. It can take time and effort, but a bit of patient encouragement can make all the difference.
Encouragement goes hand in hand with motivation. Teachers strive to nurture their students and foster growth, which requires a good deal of effort in some cases and different things for different students. Motivation is an important factor in learning—it’s difficult to push yourself out of your comfort zone. Teachers are there to see the potential in their students and motivate them to achieve and work towards that potential.
Teachers Act as Role Models
Not every child has an adult at home that acts as a positive role model. They might not be conscious of it, but the teachers they see every day at school influence the adults they will become by modeling positive behavior and good decisions.
Teachers Are Leaders
In addition to being strong role models, teachers act as leaders. They model characteristics of what a good person should be. They support, encourage, and lift others up. In many ways, the lessons taught in a classroom involve much more than curriculum. Many of the lessons are inherent or less prominent, whether the teacher is correcting behavior or modeling it,
As student advocates, teachers also play a crucial leadership role both in their schools and in the greater community. Nobody knows the needs of students better than the teachers who spend so much time building them up, and teachers lead the way in creating the ideal environments for their students.
Teachers Help Students Realize Potential
Some students take to school like a duck to water and seem to know what to do and how to excel naturally. Others need a little help or need someone who has vision, who can believe in them. Sometimes a student can’t see his or her own potential, but a teacher can, and a teacher can then provide the support needed to help develop that potential.
Teachers Provide Safe Havens
We all wish that the world were safer for our kids. Unfortunately, the harsh reality is that domestic violence, bullying, peer pressure, sexual harassment, discrimination, and poverty are all things that children might have to weather daily. A good teacher can be a hero for these children by lending a sympathetic ear and helping children find safe and supportive ways to solve their problems.
Teachers Help Fight Poverty
Poverty is not a simple issue with a simple solution, but education is one of the most vital tools for fighting poverty. While an education will not guarantee a ticket out of poverty, literacy skills and a basic education help make it possible for families to overcome social and economic barriers. Education can give people not just knowledge, but a skill set for navigating and understanding the world and improving their lives.
Teachers Help Build Community
A good school forms the center of a community, where students and their families come together to learn, share resources, and invest in their children. Teachers are the backbone of this community, creating the classroom and extracurricular experiences around which everything revolves.
When teachers inspire, motivate, encourage, act as role models and leaders, build community, help show students their potential and help students when they are coming from conditions that are less than ideal, they’re helping to shape the world.
It’s important to invest just as much into our teachers as they invest in their students—after all, it’s an investment in the future. But it’s also a way to show gratitude for the teachers who shaped you and helped influence the person you are today.
We want to thank and help give back to our teachers. That’s why we are running a Teachers Wishlist Challenge from August 1st – September 30th. Our Teacher Wishlist Contest is our way of helping teachers offset the cost of their classroom supplies.
Vote for your favorite teacher before then! We will be giving $250 to four different area teachers as a way to offset the costs of buying items on their wishlist.
If you are a teacher, we also offer discounts on our services for you and your family. It’s another way for us to thank you for the difference you make in our community.