How do Teachers Influence Their Students’ Lives?
If you are looking for a career where you can make a difference and positively impact others, becoming a teacher might be the right choice for you. We all know that teachers are influential in the lives of their students, but how much of an impact do they actually make on the child’s future? As it turns out, teachers have a huge impact on how their students’ lives are shaped. Studies have found that while parents are the most influential individuals for a child’s education, teachers are a close second. Research suggests that teachers are the one person outside of the family home that can dramatically impact the well-being of children, even long after they have reached adulthood. And the impact of teachers on their students goes far beyond academic abilities.
1 Future Earnings
A large joint study conducted by Columbia and Harvard Universities found that bad teachers can lead to poor future earnings for students. Conducted over two decades and including two and a half million students, the study found that teachers considered to be in the best 5% helped each class of students earn a massive $250,000 more than the other students over their lifetimes. They suggested that good teachers help their students eventually end up earning more from their careers because these kids are more likely to do better with grades, which improves their chance of getting into better colleges and subsequently earning more. In addition, other factors that could contribute to a loss of future earnings, such as teen pregnancy, were also lower among classes with good teachers.
2 Better Student Performance
The impact that teachers have on children does not just affect their performance when they are at school. While it’s easy to see how a good teacher could have a positive impact on a student’s performance at that time, a study from the University of Tennessee found the educators will impact a student’s performance long into their academic career, no matter how good – or bad – their future teachers are. But while having one good teacher is great, having a lot of good teachers is even better. Consistency in the level of teaching throughout the school can hugely impact how a student performs when they get to college. Having good professors at college can lead to even better further education and career opportunities. Having good teachers year after year is the gold standard for students when it comes to doing well. If you want to improve your abilities as a teacher and make sure that you’re the educator who makes this difference, consider an advanced degree in teaching from Marymount University.
3 Healthy Habits
Few things in life are as important as our health, and our diets are one of the biggest factors in our lives that impact how healthy or unhealthy we are. While it’s easy to only see teachers as people in a child’s life who teach them about a certain subject and influence their future academic performance, teachers’ eating behaviors and lifestyle habits are also heavily influenced by teachers, according to several studies. Studies have found that teachers from childhood who promote healthy eating habits will typically help their students make better dietary choices long into adulthood. Educators who focus on teaching the importance of healthy eating, teaching their students about how food is made, and introducing new foods to their students will often positively influence the students’ behavior for years to come.
4 Wellbeing and Mental Health
For students that grow up in a difficult family situation due to poverty, abuse, and many other adverse factors, teachers may be the main adults outside of the home that they can trust and confide in. In some cases, many kids might feel that the teacher is the only adult they can turn to. Having an empathetic, patient, and compassionate teacher to what the child is going through and how it might affect them can make all the difference to their future life. Too often, unruly children in class or failing to take in the information they are learning are written off as being naughty or unteachable, when in reality, there is much more going on behind the scenes. Being able to open up to a teacher as a trusted adult and let them know what is going on outside of the school setting could be the pivotal change in a child’s life where things begin to get better. It’s important for teachers to notice the signs that a child might not always have the happiest of home lives and understand how childhood behavior that might be seen as naughty or unruly could often be the sign of something more sinister.
5 Passion for a Subject
Many people who are passionate about a certain subject can thank a teacher for getting them interested in it in the first place. Others might remember always being passionate about a subject. Still, one teacher really sparked their interest and gave them the inspiration and confidence that they needed to believe in themselves and pursue the subject further into their careers. Teachers have the unique ability to inspire their students to love certain subjects, especially educators who are teaching children of a young age who are often going through finding out what they are passionate about in life and what they enjoy the most.
Skills You Need to Become a Good Teacher
Learning more about the impact that a good teacher can have on the lives of others, even long after they have finished their education, might be enough to inspire you to get into teaching. However, to be one of these highly effective educators who makes a lasting impression, it’s important to focus on developing a set of skills that will help you make an impact on your students’ lives.
The best teachers are communication experts. They know that not everybody learns differently and that some people might need different ways of communicating to get the point across. They take the time to get to know their students and adapt their communication style when needed to ensure that they go away with a clear understanding of what was taught to them or explained.
Good teachers are dedicated to doing their job well and making an impact on their students. These teachers take the extra time to make sure that they are getting the message across and are truly passionate about what they do. Their students know that they can come and ask this teacher anything about the subject, and the teacher will do their best to help them learn more. Their main goal is to see their students succeed in life, and there is not much that can stand in the way of that.
An effective teacher is a creative teacher. When you are working with a classroom filled with different students, it’s important to think outside the box and come up with different ways to keep everybody interested and engaged. For some teachers and students, this might involve coming up with games and other fun learning formats that will help to keep their students focused while they take the information in.
The teachers who have the biggest impact on students’ lives can see things from their student’s point of view. They go deeper than surface level and take the time to get to know their students as individuals to figure out how best to help them. Empathy is a quality that shines through in good teachers, whether they are helping students learn something new or figuring out how to help a student experiencing distress at school or home.
The best schoolteachers are patient with their students. While they have boundaries and can’t be walked over, they understand that their students are children whose brains are still developing. They are patient when students might take a while to understand something new and can adapt their teaching style to the age group, taking their time to make sure that their students understand.
Finally, a confident teacher will often inspire their students to be confident too. Students, especially young children in school, will often look up to their teachers as role models and use them as examples of how to be in their own life. A teacher who is confident in themselves and their abilities will help their students develop this important quality for future career success and success in their personal lives.
While parents have the biggest impact on children, teachers come in as a close second and are the main people outside of the home who have the ability to influence the way a student’s life goes well into the future.