How to inspire students to make positive change
**The Edvocate is pleased to publish guest posts as way to fuel important conversations surrounding P-20 education in America. The opinions contained within guest posts are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of The Edvocate or Dr. Matthew Lynch.**
A guest column by Anita Ginsburg
Teachers know that they can have one of the greatest impacts on the lives of their students. A teacher, good or bad, will leave an impression on a child for the rest of their lives. If you make a positive impact on your students’ lives, you can change their future for the better. Their lives beyond the classroom may improve as well, creating far-reaching effects on the community as a whole.
Attend Local Events
You should encourage your students to get involved with local events. Schools often host community events such as reading workshops, charity drives, plays, concerts, and more. If your students see you outside the classroom and engaged with the people around them, including parents, other teachers, and members of the community, they will see a positive role model and someone who has a positive impact on their lives and their world.
Give Them More Responsibility
You can also empower your students. Let them (within reason) help make rules in your classroom. Give them jobs to do that they are responsible for, and praise their hard work. When students find they have the ability to make a positive impact in something as small as their classroom, they’ll wonder where else they can have that same impact. When your students have an idea, perhaps to clean up around the school or another improvement, help them explore it and give them the support they need to succeed.
Encourage your students to continue their education and consider careers that might interested them. Many students admire those who help our communities such as policemen and women, firefighters, nurses, and doctors. Invite volunteers in to talk to your students and to share stories about how these professionals have helped others. Your students will want to emulate their examples and be positive leaders in their own right.
Remind students that schools can help them gain the education needed for a rewarding career. Encourage them to think about careers as teachers and public administrators. If they see things in their community they’d like to have improved, perhaps they could go on to get a master’s in public policy online. With degrees like that, they can make a big impact in their communities and the lives of others.
Teachers make some of the biggest impacts in the lives of those around them. With positive leadership, you can change the life of your students, and their world as well.