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Guest Voz: Striving for excellence in inspiring students to succeed should be mission of every teacher

By Joe White

Inspirational Teachers……….You know who they are. They made us want to get up and give our best until there was nothing more to give……and then give some more. They moved us. They made us work. They made us laugh. They made us think. But mostly they reminded us of our unlimited potential. They reminded us every day why we are alive and why we can learn and why we can fly.

Every day their classroom had its own special adventure. Every day they would say. “We are all in this together. We can learn anything together. Together we can achieve…learn more…believe in ourselves more. We can make the absolute most of what we’ve got………and above all, we can go the distance. They are the teachers who inspired us.

As a former successful NYC teacher, teacher-in-charge of cafeterias, group guidance teacher, guidance counselor and athletic coach, I would like to share some ideas I learned creating and inspiring significant academic and athletic achievement together with my classroom students and with my sports teams.

I learned during my years in NYC’s school system that when we address academic performance the classroom teacher is the singular most powerful, impactful and inspiring driver of academic achievement.

Your child’s academic achievement is not only about classroom subject matter, structure and systems. It is also very much about passionate inspiration found with students and teachers working hard at learning and growing and achieving together. Passionate inspiration is found in a disciplined supportive classroom environment where together student and teacher are reaching their academic potential.

I learned that the academic achievement of your child is about every student and every educator in a school system exceeding their personal best in pursuit of a unifying vision of academic achievement and greatness. Teachers who have the courage to be inspired and the courage to inspire their students with such a vision are the most powerful classroom drivers of student and teacher academic performance.

There’s a basic barometer that differentiates what makes a good teacher, coach or counselor:

The Mediocre Teacher tells students
The Good Teacher explains to students
The Superior Teacher demonstrates to students
The Exceptional Teacher inspires students

I Learned that inspiring teachers “ignite” students’ achievement.

Inspiration comes forth from within herself first and foremost and then spreads to her students. It’s what “the light burning within ME” is all about.

Inspiring teachers first ignite the unlimited teaching potential within themselves. Then they ignite the unlimited learning potential that lies within all young people — and together, in a teaching/learning/achieving relationship, they produce inspiring academic results.

An inspiring teacher knows we teach through the power of our example…the power of our thoughts, feelings, and actions. An inspiring teacher knows his own level of inspiration will be reflected in the performance of his students and that student academic performance speaks loudly and emphatically to his own teacher-student relationship.

Futhermore, an inspiring teacher knows that her students will, in time, forget what she said and what she did, but will never forget how she made them feel.

An inspiring teacher wants every child and every parent to know that they deserve every conceivable opportunity to win in her classroom.

Inspiring teachers are most powerful when their personal ambitions are transcended by the lasting impact they wish to have on their students, on their students’ parents and on their communities.

Inspiring teachers are most powerful saying things like, “I want to transform my students and I want to transform myself;” “I want to leave within each of my students a passionate belief in their own unlimited potential to achieve;” “I want my students to passionately believe in, even greater future success for themselves”….. ‘I want to fill my students with self-confidence in the belief that their focused disciplined work and their passionate commitment are the keys to their achievement anywhere…… anytime……and under any conditions.”

Joe White is an inspiring performance consultant who is passionately and enthusiastically interested in developing inspiring young teachers and training inspiring student teachers as a real pathway to student academic achievement in their classrooms. He can be reached at

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