The most memorable teachers who left a lasting impression:
- made learning fun, and applied real-world situations to the class. The example given was a third grade teacher who ran a school store to give practice in buying and making change.
- were energetic and enthusiastic about the subject they taught. Their excitement was contagious for their students.
- had a good personality and added humor to the class in appropriate ways which made the students more comfortable in their classroom.
- showed a commitment to their students, an interest in the students' well-being and went above and beyond the call of duty to help out. The example given in this case was that the student admitted that he wasn't particularly good either academically or behavior-wise in his middle-school years. His band teacher made a point to seek him out and took time after school to meet with him in the band room to work on homework because he knew that the student wasn't working on it at home. An enormous tribute was made to this anonymous teacher to a room filled with teachers, and he may never know the impact he made on turning a student's life around.
- made personal connections with the student. They made a point to get to know the students' families very well which helped to keep pathways of communication open.
- were approachable. Their students knew they would help them with anything.