For Teacher Appreciation Week, 12 Ways Teachers Make You A Better Person

This week is Teacher Appreciation Week, and I can't think of a better time to discuss the importance of teachers that many of us often overlook. My dad has been a high school art and photography teacher for as long as I've been alive. I have so many memories of being a kid and "helping" him grade homework, hanging out in his classroom and meeting his students, and watching him try to come up with creative things for them to do. But the thing I think of the most when I think of my dad as a teacher is how much passion he has for his job. My dad loves teaching, and he will do anything and everything to make sure his students really learn and get something out of his classes.

Because of this, I've grown up with a lot of respect for teachers. I know that not all teachers are great — just like in any profession, there are some that probably should have chosen a different career path. But for the most part, teachers are essential in helping us grow up into mature individuals. Sure, they can sometimes be pretty annoying, with all of their homework and tests and seemingly impossible standards. But the best teachers are more than that. The best teachers push us to be our best selves, even when we don't feel like doing so.

Almost everyone has a story about a teacher who changed their life in some way. I had a high school teacher who helped me find my love for journalism and writing, and I don't think I'd have the job I have today if it weren't for her. Think about the great teachers you've had — not the bad ones — this week, and remember how much they've done for you. Still not convinced? Here are 12 reasons teachers are super important.

1. They push you to succeed even when you don't think you can do it

Difficult assignments are annoying and time-consuming. But if no one in your life pushed you the way teachers did, how would you ever learn discipline and hard work?

2. They truly care about you and how well you do in life

Even if you have no one else who cares about whether or not you succeed, know that at least one teacher honestly does. Everyone needs someone like that in their life.

3. They work hard so that you can have a chance at a better future

A lot of people who don't know teachers say they have it made because of their hours, vacations, and summers off. What they don't know is that many teachers work late into the night grading homework and papers. Many teachers do so many other things beyond their hours just so that their students benefit.

4. They inspire creativity

A good teacher not only inspires students to do well in class, but also inspires students to be more creative and think outside the box.

5. They can help you achieve your goals

If you treat your teachers the right way, they can and will help you get to where you want to go. Whether it's through extra tutoring, letters of recommendation, or training in their subject, they'll be there for dedicated students.

6. They become teachers to teach, not for the money

It's no secret that teachers don't make a lot of money. This means that the majority of them become teachers because they want to help students — they don't have an ulterior motive of doing this "just for the money."

7. They act as role models

Great teachers aren't just teachers, they're role models. Everyone needs a positive influence and role model.

8. They are there to listen to you about more than just school stuff

Good teachers are there for students when something else is going on. They'll hear you talk about your frustrations or problems, and they'll try to help as much as they can.

9. They aren't afraid to give you criticism you need to hear

Constructive criticism is one of the best ways to improve yourself, but it can be hard to come by. Teachers dole it out, and it may be hard to take sometimes, but it's very important.

10. They show you new things and give you new experiences

The best teachers are the ones who really do teach you new things that help you in life, as well as give you new experiences you'll never forget.

11. They instill a work ethic in you

If it weren't for teachers pushing you, how would you ever become someone who gets anything done?

12. They can be your friend as well as your teacher

The very best teachers are the ones you feel comfortable enough to joke around with outside of class.

Images: Fox; Giphy