Wake up with a Smile

Join our newsletter

15 Times Teachers Exceeded Everyone’s Expectations

Teachers are some of the world’s most underappreciated heroes.

As if doing the bare minimum wasn’t taxing enough for educators, there are so many who go above and beyond their job description. From working outside of their hours to paying for fun experiences for their students using their own money, it’s awe-inspiring to see just how much they love our kids. We’ve gathered 15 of our favorite examples below to spread the love!

1. Elementary school teacher has her students say affirmations to boost their confidence.

2. Kindergarten teacher finds a way to do her job while fighting cancer.

When Kelly Klein’s cancer returned, she began enduring five-hour chemo sessions. Although she’s been through this kind of thing before, because of the pandemic, she wasn’t allowed to have any visitors. That’s when she came up with a brilliant way for her to interact with the students she loves so much!

3. This teacher gave a student the shoes off his own feet so the teen could walk across the stage and get his diploma.

When the student’s shoes didn’t match the dress code, John Butler stepped up to save the day! He wrote, “Here’s the funny part tho… my shoes were two sizes bigger than his, so when his name was called, he had to slide his feet like Sleestak across the stage.”

4. Lawyer has emotional reunion with the woman who taught her English.

Ana Reyes moved from Uruguay to the U.S. at just 5 years old. Unable to speak or read English, she struggled to keep up in school. Thankfully, a kind teacher noticed and began to give her additional assistance an hour before school even started. Now a lawyer, Ana was finally able to find and reunite with the teacher who changed her life.

5. Teacher adopts one of his students to help him get a liver transplant.

Being in the foster care system can be tough on a kid, especially one with health problems. Thirteen-year old Damien desperately needed a new liver, but without a stable home, his chances of getting one were low. That’s when math teacher Finn Lanning stepped up. Not only did he offer to foster him, but he even ended up adopting him!

6. History teacher virtually takes her students across the country during the pandemic.

7. Teacher finds way to keep up his daily “handshakes” with students during the pandemic.

Known as “The Dope Educator,” David Jamison went viral for the creative way he welcomes students into his classroom. He greets each one with their own unique handshake, but they had to stop when the pandemic made schools go virtual. Even when his students returned to the classroom, distance had to be maintained. But that didn’t stop David from putting a new spin on his personalized greetings!

8. Kindergarten teacher takes his students on a virtual field trip.

When the pandemic forced schools to go online, it was hard on a lot of people, students included. To make their day a little brighter, Michael Talcott decided to take his kindergarteners on a virtual trip to the zoo. You can even hear how excited they are!

9. When a kindergartener started to get bullied for her short hair, her teacher had her back.

Five-year-old Prisilla Perez’s bubbly personality changed when the other kids started making fun of her new, short hairstyle. Her teacher, Shannon Grimm, noticed this and it broke her heart, so she came up with a brilliant idea… she cut her hair, too!

10. Man reunites with the woman who helped him get his GED while in prison.

Michael Lacey spent 21 years in prison before getting released. During that time, he was able to earn his GED, in part because of a woman named Ms. Rice. According to Michael, she’s helped tons of other inmates and has never judged any of them. That’s why, after he was released, he had to give her a surprise visit!

11. Special needs teacher adopts student with Down syndrome after his mom passes away.

Kerry Bremer immediately clicked with her student Jake and his mom, Jeanie Manning. That’s why Jeanie, who had terminal breast cancer, took a chance and asked Kerry if she would consider adopting Jake when she passed away. It turns out, there was no need for her to be nervous – Kerry was honored to say yes.

12. Kindergarten teacher hypes up her students with daily affirmations.

You can never start teaching confidence and self-love too early. That’s why MoNique Waters started having her students say daily affirmations every school day. She began the routine because of the pandemic, wanting to make sure their spirits remained high despite circumstances outside of their control, and it’s clear that her kids love them.

13. School custodian becomes teacher after connecting with students.

Tylan Bailey was a new father and a recent high school graduate when he became a custodian for an elementary school in Georgia. He absolutely loved his job, but the best part was the relationships he built with the students and teachers. After a while, with the encouragement of his wife and coworkers, he went back to school to earn his teaching degree.

14. Preschool teacher donates his kidney to a former student.

Born prematurely at 26 weeks, Kayleigh Kulage was a fighter from the start. Yet even when her health started to improve, she needed a kidney transplant. Her preschool teacher, Robin Mach, would come to the precious little girl’s home to teach her, and he was more than happy to be her donor.

15. Teacher travels with portable stage so graduating students can walk.

So much has been taken from students during the pandemic, including traditional graduations where they get to walk across a stage. In one Canadian school, the plan was to have teachers hand-deliver diplomas to students. But with the help of his daughter, Ray Gowlett found a way to take a portable stage to each student who requested it, helping them get their milestone moment.

Words can’t express how grateful we are that these wonderful teachers are willing to go the extra mile for their students. The impact they make is truly immeasurable!

Share this story to celebrate all of the amazing teachers who don’t get enough recognition.

Want to be happier in just 5 minutes a day? Sign up for Morning Smile and join over 455,000+ people who start each day with good news.