A few weeks ago I was marking a set of essays and feeling a bit sorry for myself with the amount of work I was doing for what seemed like, in that moment, very little thanks. The time it takes for me to mark a set of books. The time it takes for me to write even one UCAS reference, let alone ten. The impact the job has on our family time. The fact that my wages barely cover my childcare bill. I was dwelling on these negatives and feeling a little woeful to say the least.
Anyway, you’ll be pleased to know that this post isn’t about the issues of teacher workload, pay and conditions or the like. Instead, it is a post written in an attempt to cheer myself up and remind myself why I chose to be a teacher. So, at that time, I took a break from the marking and posted a question in a blogger forum. I asked:
“If you could turn back time and thank a teacher for the positive impact they had on your life, who would it be and what would you say?”
The answers reminded my why being a teacher can be such a rewarding and important vocation. Here are some of them:
Sarah from Mummy Cat Notes would love to thank her old form tutor. “She was such an amazing person and really listened to you if you had a problem. We had her from year 9 until the end after being swapped around since year 7, she helped a lot of people and I’d give anything to bump into her now and thank her endlessly.”
Christy from Welsh Mum would go back and thank her Religious Education teacher who taught her “to be open minded, tolerant and to treat people equally, however different their culture or beliefs are to mine. This really broadened my horizons and had a big impact on me as I had quite a narrow life-view at the time.”
Rebecca from Becster said “I would thank my GCSE Business Studies teacher Miss Jones. She was the best! Thanks to her I had my first taster of accountancy which has led me to pursue a career in accounting. I’m now a Chartered Tax Adviser and a Chartered Accountant and a Partner in a local firm. And it’s all thanks to her!”
Tracey from Pack The PJs said: “Mine would be my Headteacher at primary school – Mr Johnson. He was also my music teacher and pushed really hard for perfection – in my case on the recorder of all things! The night before my grade 5 exam, we had a practice run-through and I was RUBBISH. And he told me so. I was only 10, but I left the practice not upset as such, but more determined to prove to him that I could do it. I guess I didn’t like being criticised. That evening I practised, and practised and practised. The following day we went to the exam hall, I went into the exam, did my best and passed with distinction. He taught me to believe in myself and to uncover the determined character I’ve been ever since. That nothing is impossible. I can still play the songs for that exam – which I took in 1982!”
Pete from Household Money Saving would thank Mr Boardman “my maths teacher. He really helped me get to grips with a subject I struggled with. And that has helped me understand money so much better now that I am older. ”
Lauren from Sophie’s Nursery: “Mine would be my Maths teacher…he was an incredible teacher. He explained things to us in a way that made sense and didn’t just make us learn a method, but told us WHY it worked. I got higher levels on my SATs than predicted & he made me so much more confident in the subject to the point where it’s now my favourite one to teach!”
Simone from Dog Days and Delights would really like to “thank Miss Vane, my Year 2 teacher. As a summer born, I ended up in the same class as September babies who had been at school a whole year longer than me. Miss Vane gave me the chance to catch up. She recognised that I was good at reading and gave me the opportunity to read books in one sitting. I always wanted to tell her that I went on to do a degree in English and I now write children’s stories.” Simone went on to write this post about Miss Vane.
Tamara from The Epileptic Blogger mentioned her English teacher Mr Condon. She wrote: “I had my first ever seizure in his class, I then went on to have loads in only his class. He went above and beyond to make sure I managed to get the best grades possible due to the circumstances. He even created a booklet of useful information because I had memory loss. He really was my rock in school and without him I’m sure I would have failed.”
Helena from The Queen Of Collage would like to thank her science teacher. She simply says: “He believed in me.”
Carolin from Mummy Alarm would thank her English teacher (learning English as a second language in Germany) Herr Seelhorst. “For the first week or two I sat in his class not really paying attention, which is how I missed the announcement for a test the next day. I got a ‘B’, although I was a straight A student. He wrote ‘You ought to be ashamed of yourself’ underneath the test and that was the moment, I fell in love with him. He was an amazing teacher, such a witty and intelligent man and I literally cried when he moved away. I went on to study English to be a teacher because of him and he probably has no idea how much he’s influenced me.”
Is there a teacher from your past who had a particularly positive impact on you?