As the famous academic, Henry Adams quoted, “a teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.” Though this statement remains valid, and I indeed adopt Adams’ opinion on the topic, in this evolving modern era, other influences are becoming increasingly vital to the success of any individual. Although our success in school, considering academic, social and emotional development, is widely affected by numerous outside influences, including effort, it must be accepted that the overwhelming contributor to a students success is a dedicated and applied teacher, working both as a role model in class and strengthening, planning and structuring a strong curriculum behind the scenes. Metaphorically speaking, the student is the plant, while teachers are their roots: facilitating growth and allowing the plant to flourish and thrive. Effort may be seen as the fertilizer, enhancing the plants growth, and supporting the roots.
Though many pupils may be unaware, their teachers are constantly, and inadvertently moulding them both academically and socially. Success relies on the mental wellbeing and social acceptance of a student, as well as satisfactory marks, despite the common misconception of success being defined as pure academic achievement. Teachers’ influence on the student body stretches further than the wisdom they bestow on their students, they also inspire personality dispositions, such as curiosity and inquisitive problem solving. These traits are seldom apparent in the home, and consequently students must become reliant on their teachers to encourage such neglected, though significant characteristics. Furthermore, and often unbeknown to both parties, students often will emulate the values they see exhibited by their teachers, meaning teachers act as role models to their disciples. I think you would agree with me that we should undoubtedly encourage the upcoming generation to pursue these traits, and improve the dynamic of the community. These attributes are carried into other aspects of school life, including student interaction, where they can improve social opportunities. A student’s tuition without an engaging and supportive teacher has no more worth than a waterproof sponge. There aren’t many other factors that can have such a dramatically broad influence on a student’s development, especially when their contribution can be seen elsewhere than just in the classroom.
The side we see of our teachers is the explanations, the assessments and the examples, and it’s all too easy to forget that their occupation spans so much further into our education. Classroom teaching accounts for only a small percentage of their role in the community. Our educators also indirectly provide us with a strong structure for learning, via the work they contribute to the conceptualisation and refinement of the Australian Curriculum and other such high profile documentation directing our learning. In actual fact, research demonstrates that an astronomical 70% of all classroom teachers contribute to renewed curriculums, with more volunteering. Without this crucial backbone, the bare crux of our education, productive learning in school, and thus completely actualised success at school, would be an unreachable and wholly unattainable target. Just imagine the turmoil and disarray caused, and the repercussions on student development, if the curriculum was not strengthened by our teachers’ contributions. The direct link between teacher and curriculum also indicates that teachers will be fully aware of the expected syllabus, and accordingly will be able to teach affectively and relevantly.
The effort maintained by students can outweigh the importance of a dedicated teacher. It may be convincingly argued that the success of a student is not dependent on the luck of receiving the education of a good teacher, but the personal drive and dedication exhibited by the student. Hypothetically, even if a pupil has the privilege of being tutored by a world-class educator, if they are apathetic towards learning, a successful academic, social or emotional career at school will prove immanently impossible. In my years of schooling, I have witnessed fellow peers that have surpassed an uninterested mindset, and have become defiant to learning. In such desperate cases as these, even the most determined efforts from teachers cannot dislodge the cemented attitudes of apathetic students. Sustaining sufficient and satisfying grades, supportive peers, or a positive mindset can be deeply scarred, or healthily boosted by the students’ own work ethic. Surely even the most dim of people should know that success, although perhaps not chiefly, hinges on what you as an individual are willing to sacrifice, namely your time and toil. Perseverance and a robust work ethic are traits a teacher can encourage, but by no means force. Although teachers provide a strong foundation for learning, student input is highly advantageous for those willing to go the extra mile in order to secure success at school.
To culminate all of the ideas previously discussed, I conclude with great consideration of all aspects of the topic that overwhelmingly it must be acknowledged that although some factors devised through a students own determination play an important role in the acquisition of knowledge, a teacher can provide this also, as well as acting as a role model, allowing students to emulate crucial social skills. Teachers are as vital to our development as the very air we breathe is to our survival. If you look at the big picture, I’m sure you would see that teachers are employed, and we are dragged out of our beds at ridiculous hours of the morning, for a logical reason. Teachers are crucial to our success at school. Without the extended involvement of our devoted and dedicated instructors, the pivotal stage of personal progression would be profoundly scarred. Teachers become rich with the wealth of knowledge they possess, and the wisdom they bequeath to their students has a dramatic impact when it comes to our progression, with or without the support of their benefactor’s perseverance. We must express our sincerest gratitude to those few, who are essentially willing to guide so many.