The Difference One Teacher Can Make

Classes have resumed for K-12 students and teachers across the nation.  As we at Fitness Finders help people stock up for the coming year, I am reminded of the great importance of teachers to the future of our country.  Teachers are the leaders of maturation for the children of America.

It’s not just the knowledge imparted, chosen by a state or board curriculum, even though these skills are prerequisites to later success.  It is not the ability to follow directions, started in kindergarten and reinforced in each grade (a discipline necessary to thrive in the future).  In my opinion, the power of teachers lies in the influence they impart on growing minds.

Helping a student with class work.

Teachers are constantly communicating who they are and what they care about, every school day, to the classes of young minds in front of them.  Young minds are watching and learning, even when you think they aren’t.   Instructors are role models whose professionalism imprints on young minds.  The causes they champion, whether academic, character-based or social issues, the things they say, the attitudes they portray, the standards they hold, are all imprinted on young minds.  None of us are value free, no matter how broad-minded our actions, words and thoughts may be, and this becomes the backdrop of the stage that is a child’s mind.  As these students think on history and politics and literature, as they decide how to behave and what actions to take, this backdrop will be there subtly influencing the beliefs and perceptions that swirl around as they grow and mature.  Therefore, we must think carefully about the programs, the dialogues, and the speeches we share with those entrusted to our care.  Once we realize we are imparting critical truths and values, they must be repeated with regularity, as all learning theory tells us.  Regular feedback of a consistent message creates learning.  This is also how we create habits.  Healthy values, healthy bodies and healthy ideas will develop a healthy generation.

Every teacher plans lessons for the day and the week ahead.  Take a minute and plan for the lessons that aren’t formal, not part of the curriculum, but equally as important (if not more important) for the success of future generations.

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