5 Teachers Who Went Above And Beyond To Make A Positive Difference In Their Students' Lives

Can we be in their classes, too?

Teachers have the ability to impact their students every single day through simple, yet nonetheless special, actions. Sometimes their connection with their students is so strong, it leaves an indelible mark on the students' lives long after their time together ends. These are the teachers who learn just as much as they educate, who listen just as much as they lecture, and who are inspired just as much as they inspire. 

Though these educators have already made headlines for the creative ways they've empowered and rewarded their students, we figured they deserved some extra recognition, too. In the "Awesome Studies" department, here are five teachers who've earned an A+: 

1. Barry White Jr. greets each of his students with a personalized handshake.

Barry White Jr. begins every class by greeting each of his students with a personalized — and pretty impressive — handshake. By taking the extra moment to create these extra special bonds, this teacher not only makes each morning memorable for his students, but "pumps them up for a high-energy class" throughout the school day. 

2. Bethany Humphrey energizes her students every morning by singing an educational version of a popular hit song with them.

Bethany Humphrey made headlines with her fourth-grade class's morning song that put an educational twist on "JuJu On That Beat." By taking pop songs and repurposing them with positive messages to inspire her students, she gets both their bodies and minds moving and grooving. 

3. Chris Ulmer spends the first 10 minutes of every class complimenting his students with special needs.

To begin his students' days with a lesson in love, Chris Ulmer spends the first 10 minutes of every class giving them compliments. The special education teacher recognizes each member of his class with a daily reminder that they're smart, funny, and creative. Learning from his example, the students often reciprocate his compliments with kind words of their own.

4. Michael Bonner created a special song and dance to help his students pass a reading test, and then made a music video with them to celebrate their scores.

Like Humphrey, Michael Bonner knows music can be a powerful learning tool. To encourage his second-grade class's love of reading and help them prepare for the "Who, What, Where, and Why" assessment testing, he helped them come up with an original, educational hip-hop song and dance. Bonner promised his students that if they all passed, he would make a music video with them. Not only did the students pass, but their empowering video went viral, drawing the attention of Ellen DeGeneres. 

5. Jasmyn Wright empowers her students to "push through" everyday obstacles with a daily call-and-response chant.

Many teachers decorate their classrooms with powerful, positive mantras, but Jasmyn Wright lives, breathes, and, most importantly, chants wise words of inspiration with her third-grade class every day. Leading them in a call-and-response lesson, she encourages her students to "push through" whatever obstacles come their way. 

With such great teachers leading the way, these youngsters won't just "push through," they'll go far. 

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