Inspirational Teachers: What are they worth?

We are lucky to receive an education.

Although it may be hard to convince our children of this fact, the fact is that this opinion remains a fact.  Just look at the alternatives…

However, Education is a profession in constant motion.  The U.K. system in particular changes at an incredible pace-take 3 or 4 years out and you will find it difficult to fit back in upon your return; the difference between your own education and the one that your child is currently receiving tells us that the past is indeed a foreign country.

One thing remains the same though…I think all of us will be able to name and remember a teacher who really made a difference. Someone who you can still recall today-a bit like that trip or residential visit which remains in your mind years after all those workbooks and PowerPoints have faded into obscurity.  Of course memorable can be positive or negative…

I will go with positive this time; let me know if you want the antonym in future.  So. Mid 1990s in a small town on the South coast.   The beginnings of OFSTED inspections and schools being taken into the future of the Academy system through grant-maintained status.  However, no computer, no interactive whiteboard and definitely no corporate mantra about how to teach the X Academy way.

Mr. Johns.  He seemed impossibly old to us when we were 12/13 but now I am there myself I still don’t feel particularly mature.  And this, the sense of humour, the maverick nature, is what makes me remember him with such fondness.  He taught me English which was already a bonus but it was the approach that I loved, and, perhaps, continue to emulate in my own practice today.  Mr. Johns told us, honestly, what he thought about the books we read.  He introduced us to concepts that were simply amazing to me at the time.  And he played with language.  Clever, witty, subtle wordplay which was sometimes verging on the inappropriate but always trod just the right line. In the freewheeling 90s it was a massively powerful and motivating teaching style for me.

And three sentences starting with ‘and’. Mr. Johns would have allowed it so I will too.

If you have any ‘inspirational teacher’ stories then please email them to [email protected]

J Swift is an English tutor with Newman Tuition, currently teaching at an international school in the Middle East. To book a lesson with him, or one of our other excellent tutors, please call us on 020 3198 8006, email us at [email protected], or complete the form on the ‘Contact Us’ page

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