Some time ago, a conversation with my other half talking about an inspirational teacher of hers caused her to get quite emotional when she really began to think about the impact that one teacher had had on her life. And so, while I’m sure it’s not the first time it’s been done, I thought it would be an interesting blog theme (perhaps for bloggers more than blog-readers) to share a little more detail about their own inspirational teachers.
There are probably many who could be mentioned, so I’ve decided to suggest 3 categories, and maybe others will be minded to do the same?
1. The teacher I emulated
I don’t buy all the stuff about needing more men in primary schools as ‘role models’ or anything like that, but I also can’t deny that as a Year 7 pupil at middle school, Mr Perry was my hero. He gave us nicknames… he seemed interested in the goings-on of Year 7 life (including the latest news on boyfriend/girlfriend front that mattered so much), and he did that all-important thing of managing to make 11-year-olds feel mature. I even tolerated his sportiness (a quality I lack entirely) because he never once made my clear inability seem anything other than an amusing quirk of my personality. I hope I manage to achieve the same positivity for pupils I teach who aren’t so sure about Maths!
Mind you, I don’t know what it said about us that Mr Perry later went on to re-train as cabin crew!
2. The teacher who changed me
Carole Lawless probably gets the credit for the work of a whole school on this one. As I moved into secondary school, I was a fairly quiet geeky sort who might easily have gone unnoticed in a 1200-pupil comprehensive. Over the next 6 years that place helped to change me into the more confident, opinionated, liberal-minded loud-mouth (geek) that I’ve since become. As a form tutor, humanities teacher, and even A-level History teacher, Carole brought a permanent sense that it was within our power – indeed, perhaps our duty, to try to change the world. Which strikes me as not a bad stance to take. It pleases me that Carol still teaches at my old school, hopefully still sharing the same messages.
3. The teacher who made me want to teach
I’m one of those teachers who always wanted to be one. I remember beginning middle school and deciding for myself (ironically enough, on reflection) that I wanted to be a first school teacher – presumably it seemed more fun? That couldn’t now be further from the truth, but it must be to the credit of my first school teachers that I felt that way. The one who sticks out in my memory is Mrs Fairbourn – the Y1 teacher I recall from my very first day at first school when I’d just moved into the area. As a newcomer to the school, I was invited to be the dentist for the day in the roleplay area – what an honour! Mrs Fairbourn is an experienced headteacher these days; I sometimes wonder how many other people’s lists she might be on without her knowledge…
Would that one day I end up on a similar list…