Countless books and films have been created to honor the dedication of some outstanding educators throughout history. Most of these educators experienced some amount of ridicule and disbelief as they attempted to teach seemingly impossible students do seemingly impossible things.
What are the common qualities of inspirational educators?
Inspirational educators first and foremost have to care about their students. Jamie Escalante is a perfect example of a teacher who went above and beyond his required duty as a high school teacher. Teachers, tutors and parents must truly care about students and have a genuine desire for them to succeed. Another common characteristic of these educators is the amount of time that they are willing to spend working with students. It is the patience and dedication of these adults that have made such life changing impacts on so many students.
A High School math teacher with perseverance
Jamie Escalante a high school teacher in Los Angeles in early 1980s was able to motivate his students to excel in AP Mathematics. Most of the students in his class were not interested in passing the class, let alone doing well on the AP test. He labored outside of regular school hours to prepare them for the AP test. This proved to his students that he wasn’t there to do the bare minimum, but he actually cared about his students and their futures. His story was so inspiring that the movie, Stand and Deliver was made about his class at Garfield High.
An inspirational educator who defied the odds
The movie The Miracle Worker portrays an outstanding personal tutor named Anne Sullivan who was able to help a blind, deaf and mute girl named Helen Keller to speak. Anne Sullivan helped Helen Keller to defy all the obstacles stacked up against her and become a forerunner for women and people with disabilities who desired to pursue education.
More stories of dedicated teachers that have been featured in films
Other movies have been based on the lives of dedicated educators. Dangerous Minds tells the true story of LouAnne Johnson an intercity high school teacher. During her time with her students she found creative ways to gain their trust and educate them. Freedom Writers is another film based on the true story of Erin Gruwell. Gruwell used writing to reach her students and to help them break through racial barriers.
These many accounts stand as an inspiration to future educators and should be an encouragement to all the teachers, tutors and parents. Even with the most difficult cases, it is possible to educate students and to prepare them to do great things and to become useful members in society.