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The Unforgettable Impact Teachers Have On Our Lives Beyond Textbooks And Classes (And Why We Owe Them More)

May 23, 2024 10:00AM ● By Okechukwu Nzeribe

Image by freepik

Whether they be doctors, lawyers, engineers, journalists, or any other profession, one denominator among all is the presence of a Teacher influencing, nurturing, mentoring, advocating, and shaping minds that would go on to become the next generation of leaders in various fields of human endeavor.

When a child is born, the responsibility to educate chiefly resides with his/her parents until a certain age when the child gets enrolled in school. Then the child’s education becomes the shared responsibility of both parents and teachers. 

Beyond the classroom walls and the academic texts, teachers hold a great influence on the preparedness of a child to face the world. One of the ways teachers can impact the child is through relationship building.

Teachers are the first adult encounters a child comes across in every school environment. For every child, non-judgmental acceptance becomes critical for their growth and development. 

As a result of this many teachers have designed different methods to gently ease students into the school's programs as well as classes. It might just be simple things like unconditional love, supportiveness, patience and understanding, and a sincere effort to listen to the child’s problem to find workable solutions. These little things are critical to deepen teacher-student relationships. 

Aside from applying these relationship skills, many teachers also acquire extra degrees in addition to their qualifications to enable them to relate well especially for children with special needs. Through such efforts, stronger bonds have been formed between teachers and students thereby helping them to experience one of life’s critical skills.

Another way teachers are impacting lives is through modeling and mentorship. The relationships formed between teachers and students at the earlier stages helped guide teachers in shaping behavioral skills, especially among socially challenged children. As a way of aiding the development of a child, teachers take it upon themselves to offer their services as mentors not just within the school environment, but to other children within the juvenile system who need a figure to look up to.

As growth stimulators, teachers have continually inspired high expectations within their pupils and this is reflected in the many successful people who have advanced the growth and progress we see in society today.

To all teachers, we owe them more than the occasional gratitude, we must continually recognize, celebrate, and appreciate their efforts.

In conclusion, below are excerpts of testimonials of how much influence teachers have in shaping the direction of growth in our lives.

Image by freepik

1. ‘He Helped Foster a Love for Science in Me’

From Storm Alexander

Mark Townley was my AP Environmental Science teacher. Not only did he teach the content, he provided resources and materials to make class fun. Labs done in class were always engaging and related to the course topics. He now works with Kenan Fellows at NC State, a program for teacher leadership. Mr. Townley was not only a very open and accepting teacher towards me, but he helped foster a love for science in me. Previously, I had been interested in arts but had no passion. When I attended his class, Mr. Townley helped me gain a love and interest in science, even if it wasn’t exactly his field. In the end, he helped lead me to the career path I have chosen today.

2. ‘She Helped Me to Discover Myself as a Student’

From Elizabeth Baker

One teacher who has had a lasting impact on my life was my 6th-8th grade Language Arts teacher. She introduced me to many of my favorite books, like “The Outsiders,” and helped me to discover myself as a student. She also made me work on every assignment that I completed for her; along with this, she helped me to grow as a writer. Because of her, I discovered several joys of learning and how to start a spark of learning within my students

Image by freepik

3. ‘Her Course Impacted Me by Showing Me How Important it is to Maintain and Value Your Personal Ethics’

From The’Shaun Jones

Carrol Warren is one of the extraordinary educators from NC State’s Education Department that I would like to acknowledge. What makes her extraordinary is her knowledge and expertise in Ethics in the Workplace and Education. This was the first course I took from the Training and Development Master of Education Program, and it was the perfect class to begin my Graduate tenure. This course impacted me by showing me how important it is to maintain and value your ethics and to carry those morals into your professional development. Thanks, Dr. Warren.

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 Okechukwu Nzeribe works with the Onitsha Chamber of Commerce, in Anambra State, Nigeria, and loves unveiling the richness of African cultures.         [email protected]

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