Elementary school, middle school, and high school teachers, and even college and university professors as well as instructors are usually considered necessary cogs in society. One could even say they are as necessary as police officers, firefighters, and medical personnel. But have you ever stopped to think about how teachers actually benefit society as a whole? Thomas Gaudreau, an educator and former principal, believes that in many ways, classroom teachers actually build the foundation of society.
Teaching as a calling
Many have heard the phrase, “those who can’t do, teach,” but that is not necessarily true. Not everyone can be a teacher in the same way that not everyone can be a doctor or a financial analyst. Teaching is a great challenge that is not to be taken lightly.
There is a definite set of characteristics that a good teacher must possesses. In addition to obviously being knowledgeable about subject matter, Thomas Gaudreau says that teachers must possess strong leadership and communication skills to engage their students and help them progress in life. Teachers also require a large amount of patience, as they take on a managerial role by managing the classroom.
Another component of teaching is the desire to impart wisdom to students. Teachers help students set goals. This goes along with a desire to help others, as teachers do. In the same way that not everyone can be a doctor or a nurse, teaching is an admirable and compassionate calling that isn’t for everyone.
Working for students and benefitting society
It may sound like a cliché, but children and adolescents grow to become the future generation. Many have even gone as far as saying the youth are our only hope at protecting the world from the effects of global warming and promoting world peace to avoid war. So where to youth learn, shape behaviors and form individual thoughts? In the classroom, of course.
Learning inspires students to reach their full potential, says Thomas Gaudreau, and depending on the teaching style, what a teacher says may stick with a student for years to come. Teachers are responsible for educating students on not only necessary knowledge, but on the world we live in. The lessons have the power to motivate students to become the leaders of tomorrow. The goal of a teacher is not to teach students what to think, but how to think.
A respected teacher can also provide guidance for students’ futures. A teacher may encourage a student to pursue higher education in the same way that a student may request help or a reference when preparing college applications. This is important, as students may go on to benefit society as a whole by developing a cure for an illness or may even become political leaders.
Even as adults, many of us recall a teacher from our childhood or high school years that inspired us to become the people we are today. We may have even had a teacher that we recall as being too strict or “mean.” Thomas Gaudreau says that teachers can stick with students long after graduation and that the importance of teachers should not be underestimated.