The Importance of Leading by Example

Author: Bethany Spencer

Posted: 12 Jun 2015

Estimated time to read: 3 mins

Students and children are highly impressionable, and are seeking out role models whose actions they will adopt and mirror. That's why, as a teacher, it's important that you lead by example and inspire your students to be the best they can be.

You won’t need to be reminded that your job is pretty important. Not just because you’re teaching a child the basic academic knowledge they need to help them develop and succeed in life. But because you are also impacting their outlook on life and helping shape their opinions of people and concepts that they will go on to use throughout their life. Whether you know it yet or not, you are a leader.

You are leading the way for these children to do better, be better and grow up into people that you’ll be proud of knowing. You may not think it, but the way you act, the characteristics you exude in class may have an influence on your students, so if you want your kids to grow up into great people and help lead another generation of children or students, make sure you are leading by example.

Be Passionate

Everyone has a passion and maybe your sole passion is teaching in general - it doesn’t need to be a specific subject - whatever it is that you are really passionate about, let your students see this and let them know that this is a good thing to be passionate and have interests. Even if they’re passionate about eating, let them be. You never know, allowing them to show their love for food and encouraging it could help shape them into the next Nigella!School boys with teacher in chemistry class.jpeg

Stick To Your Word

In order for you to be able to really have a lasting impact on your students, they need to know that they can trust you, and a good way to show this is to stick to your word. Stand by what you say and don’t make empty promises. It’s doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that children will learn from people they like and trust, and will respect those who go through with the actions.

Whether that’s enforcing a sanction or allowing them to read for an extra 10 minutes if they have been well behaved. It’s a two-way street, if you expect them to trust and respect you, you need to let them know that you are worthy of this.


Communication in any situation is key. If you are able to help your students to communicate effectively and express emotions and feelings in a diplomatic manner from a young age, you will be passing on an extremely valuable skill that will help to benefit them greatly in later life.

In order to shape your students’ communication skills you too need to be able to handle yourself and be prepared for the tough questions that students may have for you. Even remembering these conversations once they are older could influence how students approach these sensitive topics.

By simply exhibiting these qualities that you already possess, and reinforcing to your students that qualities such as these are worthwhile, you can help inspire and lead your students to success. To be a leader you do not have to be authoritative and rule with an iron fist, you simply need to inspire and as a teacher that is just what you do.

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