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Survey reveals the lasting impact of teachers


Survey reveals the lasting impact of teachers

A new U.S. survey has revealed the profound influence of teachers on the lives of their students beyond the classroom, with 84% of those surveyed saying they had more good than bad teachers, highlighting the positive experiences most students have with their educators.

The study, which involved 996 people, aimed to uncover the characteristics of educators who leave a lasting impression beyond the classroom.

A notable finding of the study was that 61% of those who were surveyed said they have never told their favourite teacher how much they meant to them, suggesting a potential gap in recognition and appreciation for teachers’ efforts.

Despite feeling a connection to the teacher, 70% don’t feel like they were treated differently by their favourite teacher. This shows that teachers who stand out maintain a fair classroom.

High school emerged as the critical period when 40% of respondents found their favourite teacher, with the majority teaching general subjects or English and language arts.

The survey reveals that impactful educators go beyond traditional teaching methods, with half saying the teacher took “a relaxed and friendly approach,” while nearly as many noted a balance of nurture and challenge.

The most impactful ways teachers influence students

Beyond teaching styles and subjects taught, educators everywhere hold a powerful influence over shaping the lives of students since they spend so much time in the classroom. Teachers often become mentors, guiding lights, and sources of inspiration. Through their guidance, students not only grasp the subjects taught but also develop essential life skills.

The top three things favourite teachers have helped their students with outside of academics are combating shyness, mental health struggles, and adjusting to being new at school.

The encouragement and support provided by dedicated educators play a crucial role in helping students navigate challenges, discover their strengths, and build a foundation for lifelong success. In addition, the support provided by teachers sometimes fills a void in the students’ lives. For 37%, their favourite teacher’s impact made up for neglectful parents.

Teacher support doesn’t only come with academics. Half of those surveyed shared that their favourite teacher went beyond the curriculum, sharing details of their personal life and fostering a deeper connection.

The dedication of students’ favourite teachers also often goes beyond the limits of the physical classroom. Over half, 54%, say their favourite teacher dedicated time to their students outside of normal class hours.

“Connecting with students beyond the classroom plays a vital role in enriching their learning journey,” Preply language expert Sylvia Johnson said.

“This extended interaction beyond academic confines nurtures a holistic understanding of the student, thereby enabling teachers to tailor delivery styles to individual needs more effectively.”

Johnson said such connections have a hugely positive impact on the emotional, cognitive, and social development of students by providing a supportive and non-judgmental space, thus effectively optimizing their learning experience.

“Ultimately, connections forged outside the classroom boost students’ confidence and engagement and cultivate a lifelong love for learning, factors that significantly enhance their overall academic performance and well-being.”

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