Teachers should never underestimate the effect of their interactions with students. After their parents, teachers are the highest determining factor on the development of a young person’s performance and personality, say Ulug et al in a 2011 study.
Participants in the study rated the following aspects of a teacher’s interactions with students as being the most positively beneficial to students:
- Encouraging participation
- Treating students as individuals
The results are echoed by Matt Miller of www.ditchthattextbook.com who also suggests that a teacher’s influence is much longer lasting than the time spent in school. Matt argues that this influence lasts a lifetime, and I would agree. He calls it the Ripple Effect in his video:
So for today, during the American National Teacher Appreciation Week, please think about a teacher who has positively influenced your life – and maybe let them know if you can. I would go further and include all educators: I’m talking teaching support staff, pastoral or counselling staff, and all other external agencies who have an influence on a young person’s life.
Even though I live in the UK rather than the US, I would still like to show my appreciation to all of these educators who have helped me over the years. I don’t just mean when I was a teenager at school myself, but also my current colleagues. Those people I work with everyday and those in the virtual world I connect with via social media.
You are amazing. I thank you all!
Ulug, Mucella & Seray Ozden, Melis & Eryilmaz, Ahu. (2011). The Effects of Teachers’ Attitudes on Students’ Personality and Performance. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences. 30. 738-742. 10.1016/j.sbspro.2011.10.144.