For some students, their teachers can play a major role in where their lives take them. Their teachers can either catapult them into a successful life or cause them to fall into one of the many ruts along the way.
I was a student that many teachers didn’t look forward to having in class. As my parents would say “Lee wasn’t a bad kid…he was just busy.” Throughout middle school I was the student who gave gray hairs and caused teachers to long for the end of the day. I was never in my seat and I always wanted to be in the middle of everything. The way I see it my teachers had a choice to make. They could either look at my energy as a negative and write me off as a problem kid, which a select few definitely did, or they could try to harness my energy and turn it into a desire for learning. Fortunately for me I had far more teachers who cared about me and wanted to see me succeed.
My teachers gave me a chance. They cared about me enough to make sure that I had every opportunity possible to succeed. They saw me as a kid with potential rather than an energetic kid they had to deal with. Because I had teachers who were willing to give me a chance, I became the student and the person I am today.
A teacher can drastically change their students futures. We have to realize that our influence on students goes far beyond the classroom. Whether we realize it or not, the students in our classrooms rely on us to be there for them. For some students we may be the only stable adult figure in their lives, and if we write them off as everyone else has then they have no one left. If we always judge a book by its cover then we miss out on everything that book has to offer. The same goes for our students. We have to dig deep into the lives of our students in order to find the potential that lies within.
We are not just teaching content to our students, we are molding lives and creating futures. One teacher can changes the lives of many students. All we have to do is give our students a chance.