Teachers can play powerful roles in a young person’s life. Aside from their parents, educators are the ones that are with a budding academics day in and day out. They impart more than just knowledge, though. Impactful teachers offer wisdom and help a child learn to navigate through the world. Taking this role seriously, many educators go above and beyond to engage and inspire their students in everyday life.
Every teacher has their own way of connecting with their pupils. Some find common ground through shared experiences, and others are able to positively influence students through laughter. One science teacher, for instance, had a classroom rule: if a student draws something on their homework, he’ll add to it, too. This creative endeavor lead to unexpected and hilarious mashups. Another history teacher got into character by dressing up in elaborate chain mail armor complete with a noble sword.
While many teachers go for the giggles, others change students’ lives through their demonstrative compassion. These inspiring stories include special education teacher Chris Ulmer who spends each day giving a compliment to his students. “Simple reminders of their positive attributes shifts [the students’] focus from what they can’t do to what they can do,” he says. And when another special education teacher named Kinsey French got married, she invited all of her students to be part of her nuptials. “They were my first class and they’ve been my only class and so I knew I couldn’t have a special day without them.”
Meet 17 teachers going above and beyond to delight and inspire their students.
This history teacher really gets into character for his students.
When his kids doodle on their work, this teacher adds his own creative drawings.
On the last day of school, this first grade teacher let her kids doodle all over her white dress.
When special education teacher Kinsey French got married, all of her students were invited to be part of the big day.
To make sure students get home safely, these five teachers walk with them every day.
While kids are a lunch, this teacher draws surreal murals on the whiteboard.
LEGOs are for more than just building—this teacher uses them to teach math to her kids.
This teacher appreciates his own shortcomings…with a sense of humor.
This professor couldn’t find a projector, so he drew the world map by hand.
This teacher uses a punny sense of humor to motivate students.
To get her students excited about the human body, Debby Heerkens wears anatomically accurate spandex suits.
Special education teacher Chris Ulmer gives a daily compliment to each student.
This math teacher found a creative and educational way to wish his students a happy holiday.
This teacher levels with his students with a sincerely hilarious message.
This instructor teaches students math…and to never forget their pen, because they’ll have to write with an old-timey quill if they do.
During their summer break, a group of creative teachers turned unused lockers into a larger-than-life library.
This teacher leads by example.
And this teacher entertained students for decades by wearing the same outfit in his school photos for 40 years.
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