In Praise of Teachers

Song of the Day: Goodbye Mr A by the Hoosiers.

Just bumped into my old A’ level Chemistry teacher whilst in the city. It’s strange how a teacher I only had for one year can have such an impact.

Most teachers are something really special- they stick with kids through thick and thin- the good ones and the more unruly. They are there everyday- certainty and security in an uncertain and insecure existence. They will always help if you have a problem- even enjoying being able to help and listen. OK some can be plain scary- German teacher Mrs Willis scared the bejeesus out of me, seemingly to be from another planet ruled by dragons- but the more positive experiences I had with teachers have been a huge influence on me. I remember things they said and did vividly:

Mr Jenkins, art:

“You’ll never lose the ability to draw, you can always come back to it.”

On hearing I liked classical music- changed the radio station in our art class- I’d never felt more included, as if my differences were important. I used to feel like a bit of a freak for liking something so different to my peers, but he showed me it’s OK.

Mrs Patterson, science and Mr Harding, French:

Knowing my love of birds, built a makeshift bird table at our campsite at Whitwell Hall.

Mr Nevans, geography:

Bringing in a huge pile of photos of birds to school from his travels, just to show me- he took time to go through each one individually and tell me the stories.

Teachers are the surrogate parents who can make you feel as if you are worth something- worth turning up at school for everyday: they are always there and I thank them for that.

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