When I was a senior in high school, with one foot out the door and an undeniable fear of what the “real world” might hold, I spent my afternoons in Mr. Spampinato’s newspaper class.
Other teachers had gently pushed me towards writing, but Spamp (one of those nicknames that only the cool teachers were awarded), painted a picture in which my writing could be an actual career choice. He handed me the all-important task of copy editor and somehow spending late nights pulling together our school newspaper felt like a privilege, not an assignment.
When I went back several years later to speak to his current day newspaper class, he was undeniably proud of how far I had come. And I knew that he had ignited a spark that started it all.
Here are just a few other teachers who have managed to make a lasting impression on their students.
Shaping young minds is tough, but getting to the root of bullying and redirecting kids to respect and appreciate each other is something else entirely. This teacher’s strategy is nothing short of amazing.
Earlier this year, East High School physical education teacher Jen Sculley offered her left kidney to a student who spent hours every day undergoing dialysis.
One writer remembers how a teacher’s simple message on a paper – “Sure hope you become a writer” – forever shaped this life’s path.
Faced with a diagnosis of stage-four brain cancer, one teacher embarks on a mission around the country to determine if he made a difference in his student’s lives. The results prove overwhelmingly that he has.
When one principal announced his retirement, the entire school came together to show their appreciation. But his reaction might be the most touching part of all.
After saving his power of speech, a patient tells his neurosurgeon to thank the person that inspired him to take that career path – his middle school teacher.
When teacher and former football player Jon Kitna came out of retirement to replace injured Tony Romo in one game last season, he was paid over $55,000. But what he decided to do with the money is what makes him an inspiring teacher.
Gabriel Kosakoff had big plans to become a musician when he left LaGuardia High School of Music and Art in 1944. Instead, he took to teaching, helping to create dozens of successful musicians in the process.
Teaching isn’t just about imparting knowledge and facts, it’s about nurturing each student in their own individual way – that, points out one inspiring teacher, is what students will remember.
What inspiring teacher shaped your life?