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Teachers Are Awesome: This Physics Teacher Gives Students a Memorable Lesson About the Meaning of Life


Ever have one of those teachers that made a tangible impact on you not just because their instruction was so amazing that you completely fell in love with the subject, but because they imparted unforgettable life lessons? Jeffrey Wright, a physics teacher at Kentucky's Louisville Male High School who's profiled in the above New York Times-produced video, is one such educator. The video was released just before the New Year, so if you missed it during all the hustle and bustle, you'll want to give it a view.

You'll see that Wright's an incredible instructor—the passion he has for the subject, will make you wish he'd been your physics teacher, too—but, as he told the Times, "When you start talking about physics, you start to wonder, "What is the purpose of it all?'" Students started asking him "those ultimate questions," says Wright, "I wanted them to look at their life in a little different way—as opposed to just through the laws of physics—and give themselves more purpose in life."

That led to an annual lecture about his now 12-year-old son, Adam, who has a rare genetic disorder called Joubert's Syndrome which impairs the ability of the brain to control balance and coordination. When you see Wright opening up to his students about something so personal and telling them about the powerful moment when Adam was able to communicate through sign language, "I love you," it's pretty impossible to hold back the tears. Indeed, one of Wright's former students was so inspired by this annual lecture that he's turned Wright's story into a documentary called "Wright's Law."

Wright hopes his students connect with the meaning of life and also end up pursuing science and genetic research careers so they can find solutions for kids like Adam. It may never be graded on a test, but the way Wright inspires his students is the ultimate teachable moment.

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