Parents and the home environment have the greatest impact on a child. Yet kids going in the wrong direction can have their trajectory changed by the involvement of mentors and good teachers. Being a great teacher means that you will have a long-term impact on the rest of their students, too. Here are some of the effects of being a great teacher and a student’s role model.
Kids Have a Better Time at School
Good teachers are experts in classroom management. This has a direct impact on morale as well as educational performance. For example, all the students in a classroom suffer if there is one child who regularly interrupts, distracts or engages in literal violence. Good classroom management results in fewer disruptive outbursts, and this results in fewer student suspensions.
This is why dealing with the little issues early on can reduce the odds of kids getting into serious problems later on, something that in a worst-case scenario is called the school to prison pipeline. This is because kids that don’t learn self-control or feel like they get nothing out of school are at risk of increasingly harsh school discipline. This often escalates into arrests for school disciplinary issues like fights or criminal activity like selling drugs at school.
Kids Learn More
Good teachers can cover a year’s worth of material in less than a school year, and they often get several months ahead. Bad teachers will not finish the required material, and their students will start the next year behind. Great teachers can help kids catch up if they had a bad teacher in a prior year, but it is challenging. This is why studies showed that getting rid of the 10% worst teachers would dramatically improve student performance. Yes, the best teachers literally do teach more.
You Can Model Behavior for Them
This is a complex area. Teachers can model everything from respect to the value of hard work to compassion to nonviolent conflict resolution. If the children don’t see this at home, they can learn it from teachers. If they are learning these lessons at home, these lessons are reinforced when students see it replicated in other adults.
It Can Truly Change a Life
Sometimes children turn to teachers for support they aren’t getting at home. This can be a delicate matter for teachers, since families have a right to privacy and shouldn’t undermine the parents’ authority.
At the same time, teachers can refer the student or their family to charities and social services to deal with issues that weigh a child down. And they can deal with issues like bullying that the child may be afraid to tell their parents about or have had dismissed by parents who considered it part of life.
You Can Bring New Experiences and Perspectives to the Classroom
There are students who said they never considered a specific career path or picked up a hobby if a teacher hadn’t introduced them to it. This could be anything from chess to acting to singing to archeology.
This is aside from the possibility that you could channel a child’s interests in a constructive way such as directing the class clown into stand-up comedy or poetry or getting the graffiti artist into the art program.