OLE Ghana Publications # 14

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The Teacher Makes a Difference               
By Agnes Asamoah-Duodu posted September 2013, OLE Ghana   

Thanks to teachers who have made great impact in people’s life. Dedicated teachers nurture the innovative potential in their learners, preparing them to step into a world full of uncertainties. Quality teaching by quality teachers can help shape learners success and make them true winners in life.  

A teacher has great possibilities not only to inspire a student to greatness but more importantly, to dream of the many possibilities in that student’s future. As a grandparent, parent, young person, doctor, lawyer, architect, or engineer we all know the role that teacher have had on truly making a difference in your life. Teachers are therefore a valuable asset in the lives of people and to national development. This places a great task on the shoulders of teachers.  

What should we then do as teachers to continue making that a lasting impression on students in our care?

Simple. For every child who says, ‘I’m not smart enough’, ‘I don’t get it’, ‘I can’t make’, etc, there should be a teacher who should always say, ‘you can’, ‘you are even smatter’, ‘you will definitely get it’, so believe in me.  Such a teacher will do whatever it takes to encourage, motivate, challenge, engage, inspire and instill love for learning in his/her students.     

The main responsibility of every teacher is to help children to build a better future.  Guess how special teachers make difference in children inspiring them to become teachers, scientists, artists, architects, doctors, musicians, engineers, pastors, lawyers etc. It takes a very special person to be a teacher because teaching is more than a job, it is a calling.

There are good teachers, excellent teachers, superior teachers and great teachers. Fogarty, (1999) has this to say: The good teacher instructs; The excellent teacher invites; The superior teacher involves; The great teacher inspires. A teacher who makes a difference in children’s life instructs and helps them to build their critical thinking skills, but not pour knowledge in children’s mind; invites children to the classroom but not drive them away; involves children in every aspect of the teaching process but does not act as a sage on the stage; inspires children to learn but not discourage them.   

If a teacher wants to make a difference in a child’s life then he/she should be like teacher Lydia who has brought herself down to the level of her students. Teachers who want to make a difference in children’s life should listen to a learner’s message to the teacher.   

As a teacher, try to reflect on the plea of these children. Can you be a teacher who makes school fun for learners; is seen as an expert in his/her field; is passionate and has knowledge of his/her subjects; lets his/her students believe in him/her; encourages his/her students; empowers his/her students; cares about his /her students; listens to his/her students; has a sense of humor; makes the class interesting; explains things clearly; sees each brain as unique; provides lifelong learning and always there for his/her students.  

If your answer is YES then you are one of the teachers who can make a great difference in children’s lives. Remember that, what teachers think, what teachers believe and what teachers do at each stage of a learner’s life ultimately shapes the kind of learning that young learner gets. Every child deserves a future and it begins with you.


Reference: Hyeonjin (Jinnie) KIM (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) Korea National University of Education. Fogarty, R Chicago 1999, Certificate in Professional Education By Christel Joy C. Martinez 


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