9 teachers who went above and beyond to change their students' lives

JArdoin_814/TwitterSometimes even small actions can make a huge difference.
  • Teachers often go above and beyond to make their students feel comfortable.
  • One teacher matched a student’s hairstyle when she saw she was uncomfortable.
  • Another donated a kidney to her student.
  • Visit INSIDER.com for more stories

When it comes to memorable teachers, most of us have an anecdote. Whether it’s a wise professor whose dry sense of humour mirrored our own, a science teacher who fostered our interest in writing at a young age (thanks Mr. Wade), or a peripheral instructor who took a special interest, teachers have a powerful ability to impact their students’ lives in lasting ways.

Here are nine examples of teachers who lit up the Internet with their awe-inspiring influence.

The teacher who emulated her student’s hair.

After complimenting her 4-year-old student’s braids, Ms. Bishop (of Lakeview Elementary in Sugarland, Texas) didn’t get the sense the child took the praise to heart.

“Of course she didn’t believe me, so she responded with a ‘Sure, Ms. Bishop,’ as she walked away,” Bishop recounted to INSIDER. Instead of letting the response go, Bishop decided to braid her own hair exactly the same way in a show of support.

“Ultimately, this is not about hair, or being black, or being seen,” she said. “It’s about making a child feel they are one! They are whole! They are unique! And no one can or should make them feel any different.”

https://twitter.com/JArdoin_814/status/959452149120937984?ref_src=twsrc^tfw

The Teacher of the Year who made a bold statement.

When President Donald Trump presented Mandy Manning with the National Teacher of the Year award, she used the opportunity to make a powerful point. According to CNN, Manning gave Trump a stack of handwritten letters from her students, many of whom are refugees at Joel E. Ferris High School in Spokane, Washington.

“My goal is to share my students’ stories,” she told the outlet, “[and] to send a message – to not only my immigrant and refugee students but to the LGBT community – that they are wanted, they are loved, they are enough and they matter.”

President Trump Speaks At The National Teacher Of The Year Reception Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesDonald Trump gives the National Teacher of the Year trophy to Mandy Manning.

The teacher who would literally give a kidney for her students.

In 2014, physical education teacher Jen Sculley at Denver’s East High School donated a kidney to one of her students with kidney failure.

“As she was telling me, this very clear voice said, ‘You’re going to give her a kidney,'” Sculley recalled to Denver’s CBS4. Thankfully, she listened to it.

The teacher who just wanted his students to succeed.

Contrary to how it feels during finals week, teachers don’t actually WANT their students to fail. This became clearer than ever for one student at East Carolina University.

When Marissa Flood shared a SnapChat of her professor helping her study in the library, it promptly went viral.

“When [yo]ur confused and email [yo]ur professor and he comes to the lib[rary] to help you study AWW,” she captioned the sweet shot. Judging by the 38,000 likes, the act of kindness has melted more than a few hearts.

The teacher who understood the struggle of parenting.

Morgan King tweeted an email from her professor in 2017, and it struck a chord in parents’ hearts everywhere.

“Told my professor I missed class yesterday bc I couldn’t find childcare & this was her response,” King wrote. “I’m literally crying. So blessed/thankful.”

The emotional response came after King missed a class, and her professor urged her to “BRING HER [child] with… to class.”

“I would be absolutely delighted to hold her while I teach,” the professor wrote, “Let me know if there are other ways we could be supporting you!”

The teacher who wanted to make sure her students were safe.

In 2015, Ellen DeGeneres invited Sonya Romero on her show to honour the kindergarten teacher.

“You teach kindergarten, and what is the first question you ask every morning?” the talk show host prompted. “I ask my kids if they have eaten that morning,” Romero answered, “if they need anything to wear or need to brush their teeth or comb their hair. I feel as educators we’re sort of the first responders.”

Romero also took in two foster children when Child Protective Services showed up to school one day.

The teacher who was a “Harry Potter” stan.

It takes a special kind of Muggle to spend 70 hours during summer break transforming a classroom into Hogwarts Castle. Kyle Hubler, a seventh and eighth-grade teacher at Evergreen Middle School in Hillsboro OR, made headlines last year for his magical classroom. It included everything from floating candles to house banners to a Sorting Hat.

“When I became a teacher and started talking to my students about their dreams I realised that I had the power to make my childhood wish come true,” he told the Huffington Post. “It… feels like I made my 12-year-old self proud and fulfilled that kid’s dream.”

The teacher who got creative to make a difference.

North Carolina teacher John Sigmon wanted to help a boy with epilepsy raise enough funds to get a service dog, so he did what he had to to keep his students motivated.

In order to properly inspire his sixth graders, Sigmon vowed that whoever raised the most money got to pick what colour he dyed his hair.

“Anytime we can be a positive influence, not just on somebody in need, but also get other people involved, that’s what we’re here for,” he told WFMY CBS News. He’s also teaching his students a powerful lesson in empathy.

The teacher who channelled Iron Man.

Little is more nerve-wracking than watching a teacher grade tests. Nazriq Ahmad, who teaches at the International Islamic University in Malaysia, solved the problem in a charming way: with an Iron Man mask.

“It’s really easy to tell if you didn’t score or if you did well based on my face alone,” he said.

Tony Stark would approve.

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