“Teaching is the profession that teaches all the other professions.” The author of that particular quote is unknown, but the message is as true now as it ever was. Teachers are second only to parents when it comes to the individuals that have the most profound impact on the development of today’s children and tomorrow’s adults. Any person, if asked whether or not they had a favorite teacher, will respond with stories of a particular individual who really brought a subject to life or gave a little extra attention when it was needed. Teachers do not just relay information, they help children develop social skills and self-confidence.
The comedian Lily Tomlin once said, “I like a teacher who gives you something to take home to think about besides homework.” While that may have been said in jest, a teacher that gets through to his or her students is one that can help a student understand how certain information applies to the outside world. Whether a teacher is encouraging a student to bring an object from home or presenting material in a whole new light, effective teachers deliver lessons that stick with a student long after the school bell rings.
The effect that a teacher has on an individual’s life will echo for years after they have left school. A teacher that presents a subject in a new or engaging way to an otherwise uninterested student may very well be educating tomorrow’s brilliant inventor. “A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.” Those words by Henry Brooks Adams effectively sum up the influence that teachers have. The technological advancements that we enjoy today would not have been possible if the individuals that created them were not inspired and encouraged by special teachers of years ago.
John F. Kennedy once remarked on the irony of paying plumbers higher wages than teachers. Teachers fill one of the most essential roles in a successful society. As the world has gotten busier, the demands placed upon educators have become ever greater. John Scully summed this up when he said “We expect teachers to handle teenage pregnancy, substance abuse, and the failings of the family. Then we expect them to educate our children.” In truth, it is hard to overstate the importance that qualified educators have on the advancement of society and technology. An unknown author once wrote,” A teacher’s purpose is not to create students in his own image, but to develop students who can create their own image.”