Did you know that before your daughter graduates from high school she will have been influenced by nearly 100 teachers? That’s nearly 100 different opinions and worldview over the course of 15 years in the classroom setting! We all know through our own experience that teachers can have a great impact on our lives (both good and bad), so it’s important that we are aware of who is interacting with our kids, what their teaching styles are, and the level of influence they have in our child’s life.
The greatest influence actually comes from elementary teachers, because they are with the same students for the majority of the day. The more time an adult spends with a child, the more influence the adult will have on the child’s life. But as students progress through middle school and high school, the number of teachers in their life dramatically increases and the amount of time spent with each teacher decreases; therefore influence also decreases. At this point in their lives, students have to be more strategic about seeking out mentors themselves.
Though teachers definitely have a great impact on a student’s academic trajectory, mentors can be found anywhere: in a coach, a counselor, an administrator, or a custodian. What students need most are people who understand their dreams, goals and desires and who are willing to invest their own time and energy to help the student reach those goals.