We all remember a teacher who inspired us. An individual who has always believed in us, supported us through challenges, sparked our passion for a topic, or inspired us to keep going when we were discouraged. For me, I was fortunate enough to have many teachers who shaped my academic career and passion for education. In addition to being teachers, these individuals served as mentors, nurses, counselors, parents, friends, and ultimately, role models.
Teacher Feature, a new blog series by The School Planner Company, highlights educators from all over the country. These teachers and education entrepreneurs make an impact in and outside of the classroom sharing valuable knowledge with students and fellow teachers through influential sites and blogs. We are excited to bring awareness to how much teachers do each day, the relationships they foster with their students, and ultimately, how we as a community can best support them. Look forward to new teacher features regularly!
If you know an amazing educator who you think we should feature, please let us know by emailing email@example.com
THIS WEEK’S TEACHER FEATURE:
Trevor Boffone, Trevor Boffone.com
What inspires you as a teacher and education influencer?
I know it sounds cliche, but my students really do inspire me as both a teacher and social media influencer. It’s true! I am energized by being around young people and learning from them everyday. They help me to continue to grow in the classroom by forcing me to stay relevant in my teaching. And, of course, they help me stay on top of social media trends, especially on TikTok. They keep this train on the track and running full steam ahead!
What do you hope your students take away from your classroom?
I always try to create a culture in which my students leave my classroom as better versions of themselves. I teach Spanish so, of course, sometimes that means learning Spanish! But what I really try to teach them is how to harness the things they can control–hard work, being reliable, being on-time, turning things in, respecting others, having a willingness to learn, and try new things, etc. These are all characteristics that can take people far in life that apply to literally any career or situation.
Teachers also learn so much from their students! What is something special one of your students taught you?
Well, I don’t have to look far to find my answer to this: TikTok! When TikTok became available in the US in 2018, my students introduced me to it and encouraged me to learn dances with them and eventually begin posting videos on my own social media accounts (TikTok, Instagram, etc.)
Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give to a new teacher?
Everyone tells new teachers things like, “don’t smile until November.” I totally ‘get’ why people say this, but the moment I stopped trying to be someone I wasn’t, the moment I embraced my personality in my classroom was the moment my teaching reached a new level. So I always tell new teachers to be authentic and teach from a place of authenticity. Don’t be afraid to bring your personality and interests into the classroom. This is precisely how we can begin building relationships with our students. They want to see the real us.
What is one fun way you have motivated your students?
Toast Tuesday! On Tuesdays, we make toast in my two morning classes. I buy the bread and spreads (and we love to try new and different spreads too!). Everyone loves Toast Tuesday; it’s sort of become a weekly event in my class. But the students don’t automatically get to make a piece of toast. Nope! They first have to finish their work or hit some sort of benchmark in their work. Other times, we will begin class with a game and the winners get first dibs at Toast Tuesday. It’s super inexpensive for me (I buy the basic white bread and the jam/butter last a few weeks) and it’s created this super positive environment. My students really look forward to coming to my class.