On the day when, here in the UK, thousands of teachers and public sector workers are intending to walk out on a one-day strike in protest about a reduction in their pensions, I thought it would be appropriate to talk about teachers.
I think, if you are lucky, you have at least one inspirational teacher in your school days. Mine was an English teacher called Miss Ryder. She was a quiet, mouse-like creature but she demanded absolute accuracy with spelling and punctuation and she expected (and got) good, long essays which stuck absolutely to the subject she gave us to write about.
In those days (during the Second World War) teachers were still unmarried and I often think what a miserable life so many of them had when all they had was their teaching career. If they enjoyed it and were good at it then it would have been fulfilling but what if they hated it but were stuck with it? Those are the teachers we want to avoid for our children, aren't they?
Did you have an inspirational teacher in your childhood? I think most of us did. I have just been reading about John Henslow who was rector at Hitcham and who created a wonderful botanical garden at Cambridge. Although only thirteen years older than Charles Darwin, he was an inspiration to the young botanist and it was he who recommended Darwin as the naturalist to travel on the Beagle. Of such small incidents are giant steps forward made.
I was totally unable to get on to my blog yesterday - it kept telling me that I had made a bad request!