Pushing Kids toward Greatness: The Role of Teachers and Parents


The role of a teacher in pushing her classroom toward greatness is vital if students are going to thrive above a life of mediocre. Most students have the mindset that attending school is a useless activity which parents impose upon them. This mindset must be changed.  A part of this opportunity belongs to the teacher; the other part belongs to the parent.

Top teachers make it up in their minds to see greatness in every child, regardless of the behavior the child displays day in and day out. The hope is, that among all the discipline, and redirection, that the child will eventually come to a revelation that life must be taking seriously, especially the part regarding school and academics.

Allowing students to settle for mediocre could dam them to a low quality of life, including

  • Illiteracy
  • Poverty
  • Low achievement mentality
  • Unwilling to sacrifice for greatness
  • Obsession with ease and comfort
  • Lack of vision and goals for their lives

Promoting Greatness: What Does It Take?

The two necessary tools for pushing a child toward greatness include: Discipline and Reward

Discipline: the role of Teachers

Students need discipline. They need to be taught how to make good decisions in the classroom so that they will be prepared to make good decisions in society. A teacher must combine teachable moments with strict discipline for those students who constantly display unruly behavior.  The typical method of discipline for teachers follow a common hierarchy:

  • Warning
  • Time out
  • Buddy Room
  • Reflection or Behavior Room (depending on school)
  • Teacher/student contract
  • Suspension
  • Parent confidence (could occur before suspension)

The most important thing is not if a teacher uses this hierarchy of discipline, but how consistent is the teacher in implementing these methods of behavior control. The consist use of these discipline techniques will go a long way in helping a student redirect his or her behavior to making intelligent choices.

Discipline: the role of Parents

Parents must discipline their children. The power of highly effective discipline is in the hands of the parents.   No other person can impact the direction a child than his or her parents. A teacher can redirect a child a thousand times in one day, but if the parents aren’t behind her, all her efforts stand on the edge of failure.

Not only do the parent must discipline the child, but also model the correct behavior when it comes to dealing with society.  Parents who direct their children to make a positive decision and then turn around and make multiple negative choices themselves are defeating the purpose. To the child, these parents are a big contradiction, not to be taking seriously.

Parents can use multiple strategies for discipline a child, including:

  • Taking away computer or smartphone privileges
  • Denying game privileges such as X-Box
  • Canceling trips to special places
  • Isolating child from friends
  • Isolating child from outside privileges (grounding)
  • Physical punishment: spanking for small children
  • Boot camps for older children

We see parents have the most effective forms of discipline when it comes fostering a child to make good decisions.  When these forms of discipline are combined with those of the teacher, the combination becomes a powerful force for creating within a child an ability to make great decisions in and outside of school.

Reward: the role of Teachers

Children need inspiration and encouragement daily. Teachers who are always on the look-out for rewarding their students for challenging work and behavior will be cherished forever by such students.

I still receive honor from students who are now adults with children of their own.  This is a reality because my goal was always to bring out the best in students by telling them how fantastic they were and could be.