20 Times Teachers Did Something That Instantly Earned Them Their Students’ Respect
During our school years, we’ve encountered all types of teachers, with some being nicer than others. However, we all have that one teacher whose honest actions will forever have a special place in our hearts, even years after we’ve graduated. Admit it – you probably started thinking about them as soon as you read the last sentence.
Recently, one Reddit user asked people to share “What did a teacher do that made you automatically gain respect for them?”, and people quickly responded with numerous inspirational stories. Turns out that some teachers really like to go above and beyond to ensure their students feel special – even though some of us didn’t appreciate it at the moment. Check out the times teachers’ actions immediately earned them their students’ respect in the gallery below!
More Info: Reddit
I had a sociology professor who gave us a Do Not Fail Checklist. Complete and you were guaranteed to pass. I also had a high school Chem teacher who bet us all $100 that if we passed his class we would pass our first college chem class. He was just really awesome all around- he told stories about travelling the world over breaks, got absurdly off topic to teach us random stuff, had a physics lab where we got to throw eggs at him, and occassionally we had a class where absolutely nothing got done because we were having a discussion. He used to give out quarters for correcting him, or for anything done really well. He put up posters about his trips and gave us extra credit quizes about them because he said being observant was really important in chemistry. Actually there were a few really weird activities in that class- I will never forget the time he ate chalk to prove to us that it was the same stuff as in milk. He was brilliant, hilarious, and just a really incredible human being.
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When I was in the 1st grade my mother gave me one of MANY really awful haircuts. The first day back at school afterward the kids picked on me horribly. So much that I ran out and hid. The principal found me and we went back to the classroom and he asked me to wait outside for a minute while he talked to the class. He then walked me to his office and bought me a Coke.
The next day – first thing in the morning – we had an assembly with the entire school and he walked up on stage with his head shaved completely bald and talked about bullying and the like.
Some twenty years down the road he had retired and I ran into him at the local college. SHook his hand and said:
– “You probably don’t remember me, but,”
– “Yes I do,” he interrupted and said my name and the event.
The man was and is a hero in my eyes.
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When I was a kid we had to purchase these red punch cards to get lunch at school. Unfortunately we didn’t have that much money so there were times where my punch card would run out and I wasn’t able to eat for a while until we got enough money to repurchase another one (why nobody in my family applied for assistance was beyond me). I had one teacher who noticed I wasn’t eating every day and she would bring an extra sandwich and offer it to me whenever she saw that. I really didn’t understand how kind that was when I was a kid but obviously as an adult That was such an amazing gesture of kindness.
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I had a business studies teacher who used to be a mental health professional. So she knew the signs when my depression was particularly bad (for example submitting work at 3am) and would always make sure I had eaten and offered me coffee and generally made her classroom a safe space for anyone. Sesstein if you’re reading this you’re amazing!!
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i told my english teacher about my unfortunate experience at my last school (just stupid people treating me like crap) and he approached me after class and said “hey, i’m sorry that happened to you. y’know there is a phrase in the english language that i think you ought to know. f*ck them”.
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Junior year of high school, English class. We were discussing a story we had read. One student (let’s call him Carl,) made a point. The teacher was dismissive and basically said Carl was wrong.
The next day, after we took our seats the teacher said, “Before we begin, I was thinking about what Carl said yesterday. I was wrong to dismiss it so quickly. Let’s take a look at that again.”
He then went on to repeat Carl’s point and initiate a conversation with the entire class. After the conversation, it became apparent Carl’s point was indeed off base, but I was impressed the teacher publicly owned his mistake and went down the path he should have.
Image source: Andreas_NYC
This will probably get lost, but I want to shout out this teacher of mine. She was our AP English Language teacher for our senior year of high school. On one of the first days in her class, she explained how she went from being a kindergarten teacher to a high school senior teacher.
She always saw off her cute and happy kindergarten kids, but as they grew up and they came back to visit her, a lot of them came to her troubled and dissatisfied with their lives. It made her real emotional about how people had treated these kids she loved so much, how she couldn’t afford to see kids so disconnected with life, and how she didn’t want them to suffer as they headed out towards college and their adult lives.
So she changed curriculums and started teaching seniors. If I remember right, it always came down to sending her kids off with a smile, prepping them for the real world.
I respect the hell out of her and she’ll always be one of my favorites. Truly like a mother to all her students.
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My highschool science teacher paused class to rip a student apart for bullying another student. Called it out as soon as it happened, infront of everyone, and that bully never went near that other kid again. Will always remember that.
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My astronomy teacher in high school was a textbook nerd. Glasses, bow tie, mustache, pocket protector, the whole deal. There was a group of senior girls that would mock him mercilessly. One day, he noticed a pack of cigarettes hanging out of one of their purses. As he walked by during his lecture, he reached down and pulled one cigarette out of the box. He proceeded to insert the tip of the cigarette into his nose and continued the lesson like nothing was wrong. This dude must’ve kept that cigarette hanging in his nose for 30 minutes without mentioning it once.
At the end of class, he casually walked back to the girl’s desk, grabbed the pack out of her purse, inserted the nose cigarette, then shook the pack and handed it back to the girl without a word.
It was such a baller move. Rock on, Mr. Keith.
Image source: Mooseclumps_
Math teacher : “I don’t care if you have good grades or bad grades, if you work hard, I will work harder to make you pass”.
He worked hard for me; I passed…
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I remember my 5th grade teacher had every student circle one book from the Scholastic book fair flyer. When the day came for the fair if you didn’t go to the library to purchase that book for yourself, she would buy it with her own money to make sure every student got to take a book home. I wouldn’t have had any books of my own if it weren’t for her.
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Instead of shouting at my loud class for not shutting up before the lesson began, my history teacher decided to quietly tell the story of a pink elephant that wanted to be an astronaut. After a few seconds, people started to shut up and listen about the pink elephant. When everyone was quiet and listening, he stopped mid-story.
As much as it made me respect him.. WHY DIDN’T YOU FINISH THE STORY FFS! THAT CLIFFHANGER!
Image source: Cae1us
Treated kids with autism + aspergers like actual human beings.
In my school I was in a special needs unit for kids with aspergers and autism called the CDU (communication disorder unit). The kids in there ranged from having mild aspergers to full on severe autism, and as such most teachers treated everyone from there like they had severe mental health problems just because they were labelled as having autism or aspergers even if it was very mild. But there was one support teacher in the cdu who was genuinely just a nice dude, whether he was talking to kids who had severe autism or just some mild social anxiety he wouldn’t talk extra slowly or call you “bud” or “pal” at the end of a sentence, he would talk to everyone like they were real human beings. It might seem like a small thing but when that’s how pretty much all teachers talked to you and treated you in every class it was very refreshing to talk to someone who would talk to you based on who you were as a person rather than treating someone differently for being labelled as autistic.
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Told us a joke about his name (before we could) and allowed us to eat during his classes “because kids your age can’t help being hungry all the time”, as long as we did it quietly. Great guy. His whole attitude made all of us actually pay attention and do our best.
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I had a professor that made it crystal clear that if we ever made an appointment and didn’t show up, he’d take 5 points off of our final grade.
I tried to find him during office hours and he wasn’t available. I told him that I deserved an extra 5 points because he wasn’t available when he said he would be and he gave it to me in the interest of fairness
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It was small but he told us he was going to be in a bad mood that day because someone stole his bike. Just treating us like people was something that was rare in that school.
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My teacher was asking a student in the hallway to quiet down, as they were disrupting her class. The student proceeds to not quiet down and begins bombarding the teacher with teenage insults, the teacher who if you can imagine is a short-ish hippy lady in her late 50’s, one of the nicest people I know and would always have time to help you with an assignment regardless what she was currently doing. Anyway, the student, who is still raging starts walking away from my teacher, and the first words my teacher says to him after asking him to quiet down is “I’m sorry, have a good rest of your day.” It took me some time to understand what she did that day, she knew that the student wasn’t angry at her for asking him to be quiet he was angry due to personal reasons and he was just lashing out. And she let the student release some of that anger towards her, and when it was done she responded with only kindness after hearing hate for minutes. I have a solid amount of respect for almost all teachers but for her I have the most. She taught me that kindness can only be spread through kindness.
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I had a teacher in elementary school who was prone to outbursts. He had a short fuse, at least compared to every other adult I knew at the time. For instance, when several of us in class weren’t listening he’d throw a piece of chalk against the wall to get our attention.
Honestly, we just thought he was crazy.
A year or maybe two years later, the school had a talent show. Like a big one, in the gym, in front of everyone. One my classmates was really into music and wanted to play a drum solo. Our teacher had mentioned off-hand that he used to be in a band and played drums, so my classmate asked him (sort of dared, like kids often do with adults) to play a solo in front of the school
And he did. He f!@#$%^ rocked it.
But that’s not what made me respect him. Turns out the band he played for was a very successful, and at the time quite popular rock band. He left just before they became popular, because he wanted to be a teacher. He chose teaching kids over the chance at fame and fortune, and didn’t regret it.
Decided to look him up and he’s still a teacher, and doing very well. Made me smile.
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A math teacher went to the hospital several times to visit a student who had been seriously injured in an accident.
The teacher offered companionship, free tutoring, and genuine encouragement.
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I had a physical education teacher who organised basketball, volleyball, handball and football tournaments, organised ‘olympic games’ for the local kids and taught us dancing on weekends. On his own. Just for us kids, because we lived in a remote place without many activities and things going on. He was more than a simple teacher.
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