Thursday, 30 June 2011


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!


SG said...

I have had several teachers who have enabled me to become the person I am. In retrospect, I think the teachers did me the maximum good were the ones who had the highest expectations from me - academically as well as behaviorally. They were the ones, who by their expectations, instilled the inherent confidence in me to strive for the proverbial unreachable stars.
And Blogger was indeed in a terrible mood yesterday. Even I had a lot of trouble getting on the my blog, even posting comments on other blogs. I kept getting Bad Request Error 400 all the time!!

Gerry Snape said...

Pat, I had two great teachers who inspired me. One was a Mrs. Gotto...biology and the other an art teacher we called "Tubby"...guess why!
both were actually interested in me and I'm sure that made the difference. I managed to get a school prize while in their class.
As for blogger...well I think it could be on the blink! I can't leave comments on all posts only a few..and can't get any help!

MorningAJ said...

Mr Childs. Wonderful man. He taught me to love language and write with care.

And Miss Lee (bless her) who dragged me kicking and screaming through A level physics.

Acornmoon said...

My husband is a retired teacher, he has a good pension which he has paid into over the years. Now he has retired he is still a tax payer. There is a lot of ill feeling about public sector pensions, much of which is sour grapes I feel- I could go on but this is not the time or the place. I know he has been an inspiration to so many of his pupils but more than that he has inspired many young teachers too.

angryparsnip said...

Shows you what blogger knows, you would never make a bad request !
It once told me I had no blog ?

cheers, parsnip

Midlife Roadtripper said...

I recall many teachers that impacted me - most in good ways. Some not as good. I wanted to be a teacher so I guess that means I admired them. I had many "old maid" school teachers in elementary. (One in particular leaves a most unpleasant memory with me.) I always wondered what they did to find fulfillment in their lives. I never thought they might have a life outside of school. I hope they did.

Eryl said...

Mr Clayton; I would love to be able to track him down and thank him.