When you were in school, you might have been a good student. You might have eagerly soaked up the knowledge that your teachers dispensed to you. You might have been a model student like Fanny Hensel (whom you can read about from the Piano Teacher N8 website). But you might have found that while you respected teachers for their academic knowledge, perhaps they were more inspiring on a different level. The same goes for if you were classed as what is a problem student, or a bit of a creative rebel (like the composer Igor Stravinsky). You might have had difficulty with trying, turning in homework on time, and focus in class lessons. You might have found lessons and the acquisition of knowledge boring. But in both cases you might have found teachers inspiring outside the classroom, not for what they thought but for who they were. It might have been the Maths teacher who did marathons and raised money for charities such as Children’s Relief. It might have been the PE teacher who volunteered time to help students with homework. Or it may even have been the office staff, or someone that did not teach your class, who was inspiring for the fact that they showed that they cared. Maybe you witnessed them helping a student who had got hurt, or taking time to chat with someone who had problems. Maybe it was the way they carried themselves and got on with things despite have their own known problems in their family, like a parent with cancer or a child with a disability, and never got disheartened. Your teachers inspired you.
Some individuals were inspired by their teachers to become teachers. And according to a BBC report, there are certain countries in the world where being a teacher ranks as being one of the best jobs in life. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the country of China, where teachers are heavily respected by students. Why is this so? One might speculate that in a country of over one billion people, competition for jobs is strong and education is a key towards higher paying jobs, and a way away from the labour jobs which pay little and are often under exploitative conditions. In China and the Far East, there is a bit more respect for teachers and this also stems partly from the fact the way Asian society is.
A teacher can also exert a great degree of influence in shaping your direction and knowledge. If you are in one-to-one situations, a teacher can explain the subject matter more clearly, and if you encounter difficulty, he or she can provide the skills you need to navigate difficulty, as well as share your experiences and how you are feeling. For example, if you are starting piano lessons, you may find it difficult at the start, but the teacher can tell you it is pretty normal and how you are feeling is not new to anyone. This will inspire you to work through your difficulty – one of the aims of a teacher – and become a self-directed learner.