Ask anyone to think of a person that has made a significant impact in their life and it’s quite probable they’ll name one of their teachers. If they have trouble picking just one they might even name several of their teachers. A good teacher can inspire a passion for literature, make maths magical, and help even the most unsure child find confidence in their abilities.
Some teachers make a difference that goes far beyond the walls of their classroom, touching people around the world in ways those people aren’t even aware of, as a recent article on teachers that have changed the world by job search website Adzuna has shown. Alongside famous names like the inventor of the telephone, Alexander Graham Bell, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau are dozens of lesser-known teachers that have left their mark.
For some, that mark has been directly in education. While everyone has heard of Kindergarten, few will be aware of Friedrich Froebel, the German who invented the concept after recognising that pre-school children learn best through self-activity, talk and play.
Others went on to make their mark elsewhere. Peter Norman may be in the record books as an Olympic silver medallist, but his support of the protest against racial equality by Tommie Smith and John Carlos, the two black Americans sharing a podium with him, was arguably much more significant.
While the list highlights some truly exceptional people, the truth is of course that the hard work of any teacher can have ripples that are felt beyond the lives of the pupils they come into contact with. The achievements your pupils go on to make, the role they play in community life, and the values and knowledge they in turn pass on to other people can rightly be considered a reflection of the incredible work and dedication that you put into helping every child reach their potential.
Want to feel inspired to make a difference? You can see the full list here.