What motivates you? Who inspired you to do your best?

We all know that something must change in our school systems if we are to motivate students to stay in school and to do their best.

I often hear stories of students who were struggling and would generally skip classes every day, but would NEVER miss the one class in which the teacher CARED.

I work in an elementary school and I am starting to train new teachers, and have several ideas about the lack of motivation in students by the time they reach middle and high school. But I am curious to know what others think is most important.

What was it about that teacher whose class you never missed (or who simply motivated you to go the extra mile)? Even students who love school and never missed any classes surely had certain teachers or other adults they remember who somehow inspired them or piqued their interest. 

Please share your inspirations - student teachers are DYING for this information! 

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