Have you ever considered where you might be today without your teachers? Can you think of someone who has empowered you to achieve more than you thought was possible?
Teachers help shape and influence the lives of those they teach while building long lasting relationships with those around them. They are able to learn and develop along with the students throughout the course of the year (Teach.org, 2019). Oftentimes students spend more time at school than they do with their parents during the day (Wolk, 2008), providing teachers with the many opportunities to inspire and help their students during the school year. They truly influence the lives of their students, aiding them in becoming the most successful they can be. While teaching is a challenging profession, the relationships and interactions with the students also makes it one of the most rewarding.
Teachers make a difference by:
Building meaningful relationships with their students
Awakening curiosities that shift life trajectories
Creating social change and fighting poverty
Encouraging and inspiring a love of learning
Building up the next generation of leaders
Providing a safe haven and community for
"Teachers affect eternity; no one can tell where their influence stops."
-Henry Brooks Adam
Before the age of three, children from high-income families are exposed to 30 million more words than their peers growing up in poverty (Teach.org, 2019).
Because of the lack of resources that some children experience at home, students face an ever growing opportunity gap that education fights to resolve. Teachers across the nation are fighting hard to create social change and fight poverty.
In fact, our very own Wasatch County School District teachers are tackling these issues with the launch of a "20 Minutes a Day" reading program. By encouraging children and families to read for 20 minutes every day, kids will be able to strengthen their vocabulary skills and close the poverty induced academic gap that often occurs due to lack of resources. This joint effort between teachers, students, and families may help bring awareness to the importance of reading and the impact that it has for students.
Nebo County School District teachers are fighting poverty and creating social change as well with their "Back Pack Club" program which provides take home meals for students. This program benefits students who are homeless or don't have food at home by providing them with the meals necessary to make it through the weekend and school breaks.
Teachers all over Utah county are doing great things to help close the poverty gap and create change for those students in need. The efforts of school districts are bringing communities closer together and shifting life trajectories for children and families.
"The effectiveness of a teacher affects the education of the students more than any other factor."
Teachers make a huge difference in the lives of their students. Although they facilitate student learning, they can also influence how students view school (and even life!). As you consider teaching as a profession, remember that ultimately, teachers have the power to shift life trajectories of students in a meaningful and positive way. Remember that, “More than anything else, student achievement is most closely correlated with the quality of their teacher,” (Wright, Horn, & Sanders, 1997, p. 63) You are helping your students. You are making a difference in their lives.
Wolk, S. (2008). Joy in School. The Positive Classroom, 26(1), 8-15. http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/sept08/vol66/num01/Joy-in-School.aspx
Teachers Are Role Models. (2019). Retrieved May 7, 2019, from https://teach.com/what/teachers-are-role-models/
Wright, S. P., Horn, S. P., & Sanders, W. L. (1997). Teacher and classroom context effects on student achievement: Implications for teacher evaluation. Journal of Personnel Evaluation in Education, 11, 57–67, p. 63.