Each of us have been affected by teachers. Some of them were great, while others failed to inspire. But for those who step up, filled with compassion and the determination to educate, they hold the power to shape the future of the world by daring their students to dream, even when it may seem that the odds are stacked against the children who populate their classrooms.

In a recent session of TED Talks, longtime educator Rita Pierson talked frankly about education, her years as a teacher, and of what a huge difference a great teacher can make when they become a child's greatest champion. I know when you watch this video, you'll be as inspired as I was by the passion and honesty that infuses her every word.

I've often said that if I wasn't an editor, I would be a teacher because I love inspiring people to stop focusing on the status quo and to embrace the possibilities of the future. That's one of the reasons Rita inspired me so much. She reminded me that no matter what our job title or platform is, we can affect change and make a difference if we are determined to care, listen and celebrate successes, great or small, rather than focusing on failures.

What is the greatest lesson a teacher ever taught you, in or out of the classroom? I'd love to hear your stories about the people that inspired you to become a greater version of yourself. Please share those stories below!

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