Student’s can be right pains in the proverbial, I was one of those awkward children that I’m sure teacher’s would get frustrated with. I could be very well behaved and eager to learn but then I was one of those mischievous souls that would get easily distracted. Something I am sure my managers at work would also probably agree with.
It wasn’t just my fault. As much as we complain that there are a minority of children that spoil it for the rest of the cohort there should also be the acknowledgement that, while the vast majority are excellent, there are also less than stellar educators in our midst. I had my fair share when I was at school but thankfully I also had some teachers who more than made up for it.
This is a post about them. It is my way of giving a belated thanks to all those who put up with me, and helped mould me into a useful member of society.
Mr Froggatt – Science
I should have listened to him, I chose to do chemistry instead of physics and ended up in an awful class making vile smelling liquids instead of learning the wonders of the universe. Then again I needed to do chemistry to get onto the university course I would drop out off after one year. Most importantly for a science teacher he made the subject fun and interesting. This shouldn’t be hard because the subject is fun and interesting but some people have the capacity to suck this out of the subject and reduce it to a dry and dull husk. I came away wanting to know more, and was encouraged to do my own learning.
Mr Jacques – Mathematics
Even today the impact of his teaching is still felt in the work I do every day. It was drilled into me that you had to date your work, give it a heading, have a margin, place the equal sign in the same column and show all your working. If you were to look at one of my spreadsheets you will see the same diligence to ensure that I don’t lose any marks for sloppy presentation. I learnt that maths is as much about the explanation and the workings than the answer.
Mr Cambridge – Geography
I got a decent grade in my Geography GCSE and I have no idea how, I wouldn’t say it is one of my natural subjects yet I still came out with a result I was pleased with. I felt that I hadn’t done well in the exam or the coursework but I must have done, and I put this down to the way I was taught. I was pushed and goaded into doing better and I responded to this (even if I didn’t know it at the time). This is still a good way to manage me now, if I am challenged or pushed I perform much better than when left alone.
These illustrate to me the power a good teacher has, not just to plant facts and figures into a young person’s head but to actually change a young person. All of these examples gave me skills that are of use in my everyday life, and for that I am extremely thankful.
Obviously not all were shining examples of humanity, at school I was also subjected to some pretty awful educators. It may be in part to the state-based education in a deprived area failing both students and teachers, but that would surely mean that the government Education department was full of incompetents or those who have scant regard for the ability of education to lift people up and out of poverty.
So to review how bad I had it, here are my ten signs that perhaps someone chose the wrong career.
10 signs your teacher is not that good
- The teacher insists on dropping large lumps of highly reactive metal into acid to get the classes attention
- Cries a lot, especially about God in junior school
- Gives graphic details of their sex life…in an English class
- Loses your work while kept in a ‘secure’ locker and blames you for not keeping a closer eye on it
- Teacher presents you with an award, only to take it back when they find out you are going on holiday
- Refers to you being double-jointed as ‘ewwwwww…you’re a freak”
- Teaching you to how to ‘cheat’ at Rugby, then penalizing you when you do it in a game.
- Tells you to draw pictures of skeletons, and then advises your parents you have a death fixation
- Allows students to create an illegal betting ring based on maggot racing as a ‘science’ project
- Spends a whole year teaching you nothing, because they speak at 35db and are teaching the wrong curriculum