Teachers are a vital (and in many cases undervalued) part of society. They have the power to mold the minds of younger generations and influence their development as they mature from infancy into adulthood. A good teacher can alter a student’s perspective of the world and ultimately change their life for the better. I myself, like to think that I am proof of this.
When I was in school, I cannot say I struggled. I tackled most subjects with relative ease, I had a good circle of friends and I achieved great grades (ask my mum!). However, I had no sense of direction and an overwhelming fear of the future. The thought of leaving school was exciting but terrifying – like most youths I could not wait to leave, however, I had no enthusiasm for anything specific and felt very lost.
My mindset changed entirely during my final years of school thanks to the support and guidance of two teachers. In every one of their classes, I was encouraged to speak my mind, look beyond the surface meaning and question everything. When I experienced hardships, I was shown how to channel them into something productive. I was supported and reassured when I doubted myself (which I did a lot, as most teenagers do!) and I was also told when I was coasting and not striving towards my full potential. During this time, my confidence grew dramatically. I became sure of myself, I found a passion that lingered deep inside of me and I ended up applying to University (something that I had definitely not planned on doing). For the first time in my life I had goals – ideals to strive for which I did not have previously.
Had I not received the support and guidance of those two teachers, I honestly believe that I would have continued to live my life aimlessly, yearning for something that I could not quite put my finger on. The presence of good teachers at such a vulnerable point in my life helped me to build a plan for my future and grow as a person, and for that, I am incredibly grateful.
To all you teachers out there who come home after a hard day questioning why you do what you do – please keep going. You never know, you may change someone’s life… You probably already have!