by Melissa Clifton

"THAT Teacher"

How The Most Inspiring Educators Make An Impact

When asked if there was a teacher who influenced their lives, for most people something sparks in their eyes and a smile grows across their face. As warm memories flood their heart, they inevitably begin to describe an educator who shaped their formative years in some large or small way which helped refine the best parts of themselves. Many enthusiastically share stories of these impactful teachers, but all proudly exclaim a name from years past. How is it possible that we have so many great teachers in our lives, but there is always one or two that make such an impact as to bring tears to our eyes and smiles to our faces upon reflection? Many affectionately refer to these inspiring souls as “THAT teacher.”

Without a doubt, the trait held by educators that make the biggest difference in our lives is passion. We all remember the teacher who had so much enthusiasm for a subject that they were able to transform the learning process into a fun experience; we began to want to learn, and it seemed exciting! These teachers exuded a tangible level of passion that was most certainly contagious.

An overwhelming majority of people also described an educator who held an unwavering belief in the abilities of the student. Sometimes in the face of adversity, or in spite of being told there was no hope, these educators looked beyond labels, past diagnosis, or popularly-held ideas to see the truth of the student shining within. From time to time, these dedicated educators were the only person in the students’ life that believed in them or provided them the opportunities to succeed. That dedication and belief in their students truly made all the difference.

According to those asked, both passion and belief were only made possible through building strong relationships. Without forming a relationship, there could be no understanding of the unique needs and personal stories of the student. Overcrowded classrooms and strict testing criteria make it more difficult than ever for educators to form lasting relationships with - or make a significant impact on - students.

Educational travel creates an accessible portal through which the modern teacher can be “THAT teacher.” Travel inherently provides a foundation for lasting relationships while strengthening a passion for learning amongst traveling students. Of the thousands of educators who have taken students on curriculum-based class trips to such destinations as Washington, DC, New York City, Williamsburg, Yorktown, Jamestown or Boston, more often than not they report that their students were transformed by these life-changing experiences. Overnight class trips form deep bonds - not only between classmates - but also between educators and their students.

We respect all of the life-changing educators out there who are making a difference every single day. Please know that your work is not only appreciated, but cherished; there was not a single person asked who didn’t have a story to tell about a special teacher: THAT teacher.

To learn more about providing the opportunity of curriculum-based, life-changing travel for your students, please browse our educational travel destinations pages or request a travel quote for your school.

MyTour Fund

MyTourFund.com is a free fundraising website available to all STA traveling educators and students.

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