Real Life Heroic Teachers that Need Movies about Them

We love a feel-good movie about folks who made sacrifices to improve the world. As a group, teachers fit under that category more than the rest of us as a whole, but even among teachers, some stand out. For example, Emma Willard, born in 1787, started teaching early as a teenager and never stopped advocating for her students.

Emma Willard was born in a time when women were…

This 63 Year-Old Teacher Was the First to Ride Niagara Falls in a Barrel

Are you thinking about your retirement?

They say it’s important, and even back in 1901, it was something people needed to think about.

I mean, that’s what Annie Edison Taylor, a retired school teacher, was thinking about when she decided to ride Niagara Falls in a barrel:

Photo Credit: did you know?

Taylor’s husband had died in the Civil War, and the New York native spent the rest of the century roaming the US and Mexico, picking up teaching gigs for a while before wandering off to another spot.

After she read an article about the World’s Fair and Niagara Falls, she decided to seek fame, fortune, and a secure retirement by riding over the Falls in a barrel.

People had been doing tight-rope walks over the Falls and shooting the rapids below the Falls in barrels, and at least one person had survived a dive from the top, but she would be the first to ride over the Falls in a barrel.

Photo Credit: Public Domain/Francis J. Petrie Photograph Collection/Wiki

The barrel was specially made to go over the falls. It…

Teacher Shows Students How Negative Words Can Make Rice Moldy

The impact of positive and negative emotions might be more impactful than you think—and more persuasive.

A teacher in Curitiba, a southern region in Brazil, decided to illustrate the power of words to her students by using two cups of sealed rice.

Physical education teacher Ana Paula Frezatto Martins arranged the class in a circle around the two cups of grains. Then, she asked the students to say bad things to one of the cups — things people might hear in everyday life, like “you are useless”, “you are stupid”, and “you can’t accomplish anything”.

To the second glass, the teacher asked the kids to say things they would like to hear from everyone. The kids used such expressions as “you are special”, “you can accomplish anything”, and “you are smart”. Days later, the rice in the “love cup” fermented naturally while the rice in the “hate cup” became dark and moldy.

MORE: How Positive Media Can Make Us Better People

Martins says she has always tried to show her students the importance of highlighting positivity.

“In my classes I explain the importance of saying nice things to each other, but kids need more tangible physical expressions of our examples,” says Martins, according to Globo.

“When you say something nice,…

4-Year-Old’s Teacher Donates Kidney to Father In Need: ‘She’s An Amazing Lady’

Sharing is caring – and judging by what this teacher is sharing, she cares a lot.

Nancy Bleuer is a preschool teacher at Washington Charlie Brown Preschool and Childcare in Mason City, Iowa who will go to any and all lengths to ensure the wellbeing of her students.

So when she heard that the father of one of her 4-year-old students had been diagnosed with renal kidney failure, she leapt at the chance to donate her own.

Darreld Petersen, father of…

Teacher Has Kept Petition for 61 Years as Memento of Student Kindness

After reading the heartwarming stories of Teacher Appreciation Week, Danny Beatty decided to submit his own touching tale of student kindness.

Danny started teaching at Anacortes High School of Anacortes, Washington in September 1955. According to a letter that the educator sent to the Seattle Times earlier this week, Danny maintained a course load of teaching six different classes, each consisting of up to 30 students.

When he received a draft notice from the U.S. army ordering his induction half way through the school year, however, it looked like Danny wouldn’t be teaching for very much longer.

RELATED: Daughter Fulfills Dad’s Last Wish With Side-Splitting Obituary

But his students weren’t going to let him go that easily; they immediately launched a petition that requested…

10+ Intimate Portraits Of 1970s Rebellious Youth Captured By High School Teacher

Before Joseph Szabo was a world renown photographer, he was a teacher at Malverne High School in Long Island. And on his first days at the job he figured that he’s gonna need something special to catch the attention of his pupils. So he brought a camera into class…

“I never had any agenda with my photography – it was never a money-making thing, it was just about connecting with young people – and so I think my photographs have a sort of authentic or genuine quality that a lot of people seem able to relate to,” Joseph told Huck Magazine. “I have always tried to capture these very personal moments, in an honest way, to show people doing exactly what they’re doing. They could just be sitting on the school steps smoking a cigarette or they could be hanging out of a car door waving their hands and saying, ‘This is…

Teacher Cuts Hair to Match Student Who Was Mocked

There’s nothing more inspiring than having a role model who looks like you.

That’s why Ana Barbara Ferreira cut her hair to match one of her bullied students.

Ana, who is an educator in São Paulo, Brazil, teaches a young girl who was mocked by one of the other boys in her class.

“Yesterday, my student told me there was a boy saying that her hair was ugly. She was very sad,” Ana…

Teacher Provides 650 Bikes, One to Every Student at Her School

Over 650 low-income students now have their very own bicycle – and it’s all thanks to one passionate teacher who believes that every child deserves to play.

Katie Blomquist received national attention after she started a GoFundMe campaign several months ago to raise money for bikes – or more accurately, a bicycle, a helmet, and a lock for every single one of the students at her school.

Katie is a first grade teacher at Pepperidge Elementary in North Charleston, South Carolina. Since the area has very high rates of poverty, many of the kids have never had the chance to experience owning a bike.

RELATED: Public Raises $100K For Widower Selling Kindling to Pay Wife’s Medical Bills

“Over the years, after talking with students, I have come to the realization many have never ridden a bike nor do they have the means to own…

New Mexico Science Teacher Busted for Making Meth

The headline may bring up memories of Walter White from the TV show Breaking Bad, but this time, it’s John W. Gose of Sam Miguel, New Mexico. Gose taught science at schools in El Paso and Las Cruces up until 2016, when he was busted for possession of methamphetamine, and then manufacturing meth. Is it coincidence, or life imitating art?

Gose was arrested Oct. 2, 2016, during a traffic stop in Las Cruces. During the stop,…

Bots can train employees better than you can

Don’t tell your favorite grade school teacher, but bots are infinitely more patient instructors that are willing to offer assistance and information for as long and as often as they’re needed.

That’s one reason big-time education advocates such as Bill Gates are so excited by the possibilities of AI, but it has major implications in the workplace, too.

Talla, a Boston-area startup, has created a bot that can do many of the routine tasks normally performed by an HR department, such as distributing surveys, gathering data, and even training employees. Sound far-fetched? Such bots are actually more common than many people might realize: 80 percent of companies currently rely on bot-enabled communication tools like Slack and HipChat.

Sure, bots can assume busywork and enable better interoffice communication, but a bot’s true power lies in its educational capabilities.

For many, this vision of the future might seem like a nightmare in which reliable humans are replaced by annoying chatbots that cause more problems than they solve. However, this pessimism is caught up in antiquated notions of what a bot can be, which are not helped by the chatbots encountered in apps such as Facebook Messenger.

In reality, a well-designed, well-implemented bot won’t replace employees, but it can empower them. Last spring, Georgia Tech hired a teaching assistant named Jill Watson. Jill helped the professor by answering any questions students had outside of class, and the students loved her, even if she was only available online.

There was a reason for that: Jill was actually an advanced chatbot. When students found out at the end of the semester, they were blown away. While an ordinary chatbot won’t necessarily pass the Turing test, this example shows just how far chatbots have come and how useful they can be as teachers.

Here are three ways messaging bots can improve employee training and development.

1. Act like a favorite teacher

Good teachers do more than answer questions. They also know how to ask students the right questions, framing those questions in ways designed to pique curiosity about a subject and rewarding students when they excel. A good bot can do the same.

When employees enter…