If your students were asked 20-50 years from now to name a teacher in their life who had a positive influence on them, would they name you?
Now think about this…
Who is a teacher who had a positive influence on you in elementary, middle school/junior high and high school?
Take a moment. Give this some thought.
Jot your teacher’s name down on a piece of paper.
My teacher is Mr. Stewart – my high school biology teacher.
Describe what your teacher did to have a positive influence on you.
What did your teacher specifically do to have this influence on you? Write your thoughts next to your teacher’s name.
For me, there were many things Mr. Stewart did that made a difference in my life. I remember asking for a pass from my study hall class quite frequently to visit his classroom which was also his free period. Sometimes I had something I wanted to share with him. He would listen. Sometimes I needed advice. He would give it. Sometimes I needed encouragement. He would offer it. Sometimes I didn’t anything other than to just be in his presence. He would welcome me. I’m sure he had a lot of classwork to do during his free period and didn’t always have time to give me when I would walk into his classroom. But, I never once felt like I was interrupting, was an inconvenience or not welcomed. He was always there for me.
I was a student in his high school biology class. Science was not my favorite subject. Yet, I always looked forward to going to his biology class. I worked hard. I always wanted to do my best in the class. Why? Because I wanted to for Mr. Stewart. He believed in me (even when I didn’t think I could dissect an animal!) I didn’t want to disappoint him.
I always felt like I was Mr. Stewart’s favorite student. But, now, I think every one of his students felt that way. How he treated me was how he treated all of his students.
List the personal characteristics and qualities of your teacher.
What words would you use to describe your teacher? Make a note of them.
Mr. Stewart was a good listener, attentive, genuine, a positive role model, mentor, gave selfishly of his time, showed a personal interest in his students and had high expectations for all of us.
Does your teacher still influence you still today in any way? If so, how?
Think deeply about this…How does your teacher still influence you today?
Mr. Stewart is the only teacher I stay in touch with after graduating from high school 38 years ago. He attended my wedding. We exchange Christmas cards and letters. We try to connect in-person at least once, if not more, each year. We text each other to periodically check in with one another. I attended his retirement party three years ago.
Not much has changed over the years. He is still genuinely interested in me. He still listens, advises, encourages, affirms and welcomes me.
One thing that has changed is he is a dear friend of mine of whom I now call, Mike. (It took me a long time to get used to it!)
I also had a pinnacle moment in my career when the tables turned and I became his teacher! Mr. Stewart attended an All Stars training I was leading. I was nervous. I still didn’t want to disappoint him. I don’t think I did. He went on to be a rock-star All Stars teacher for 10+ years before he retired!
Mr. Stewart exemplifies a teacher who can positively influence their students’ lives for years. He has the five qualities research identifies with teachers who have this ability.
Take a listen to a webinar I did yesterday, “How to Have a Positive Influence on Your Kid’s Lives that Lasts For Years.” I unpack each of the five qualities an influential teacher has. Think about whether your influential teacher has these five qualities.
Then imagine again…
If we asked your students 20-50 years from now…
“Who is a teacher from your elementary, middle school/junior high and high school years that had a positive influence on you?”
And, they named YOU!
Are you ready to begin the journey to make it happen?
Listen to the webinar…I await your answer!
My Best to You and Your Kids,
P.S. Just a heads up! The audio of the webinar starts at about the 1 minute mark and it gets a bit muffled for a few seconds in some places on the replay. And, you will want to watch it ALL as I have a BIG announcement in the webinar!