Qualified teachers inspire
Image: Kip McGrath Ashmore
At Kip McGrath we like to celebrate the teacher! What makes our tuition so successful is that it is delivered by experienced, qualified teachers who understand the different ways in which children learn and tailor their tuition to get the best out of each individual child.
Teaching is not an easy profession. A teacher is charged with inspiring and steering young minds and preparing them for the real world. If you have been watching the Channel 4 series Educating Yorkshire you will no doubt have been in awe of the true dedication and care that the teachers in Thornhill Community Academy show their pupils. This is the story in schools across the country – teachers doing their up most, often in challenging situations to provide the best education they can for their pupils. I would just like to take a moment to thank all the truly inspirational teachers out there who often go beyond the call of duty to help their students achieve their goals.
Here are a few stories about inspirational teachers I have been gathering for World Teacher’s Day 2013. It was a surprise and a delight to get so many people wanting to write about their favourite teacher and just goes to prove what a difference a great teacher makes to children’s lives.
My favourite ever teacher at Primary school was Mr Lund. I was in Year 4 when he taught me. Our classroom was a prefab separate from the rest of the school and adjacent to a country lane. Every Friday Mr Lund’s twin brother would whiz down the lane on his bike ( he was too quick for us; we never saw him cycle down the lane. Mr Lund would just point and say “Look! here comes Gordon!”) Mr Lund would then go into the vestibule at the back of the classroom to let his twin in. Gordon would then come back without Mr Lund (he’d gone for a coffee) with his hair all messed up and a cycling jacket on. We would have a great time while Gordon clowned around asking all sorts of questions about what we’d been doing and generally getting things wrong so us Y4s had to put him right. He would always then hear Mr Lund returning from having his coffee and tell us not to tell Mr Lund that we’d been messing around and dart off. Mr Lund was always really annoyed that he’d missed his brother and strangely we never saw them both together. It wasn’t until years later that it occurred to me that Gordon was really Mr Lund with his hair messed up and a different top on. Years later still, while I was doing my teacher training, I realised that Gordon was Mr Lund’s brilliant, if somewhat eccentric, way of assessing what we had learned during the week! Gordon still has a special place in my heart. Kelly Barrett
My favourite teacher ‘followed’ me from Year 4 to Year 5 (then Juniors 2 to Junior 3). She was newly qualified and full of enthusiasm. She always had a cuddle for those who needed one, was VERY protective of ‘her’ children and nobody was allowed to make us feel bad. We did projects, had fun trips, science days (unheard of in the very early ’80s) and basically learnt EVERYTHING that we needed to with a smile on our faces. She encouraged everyone to follow their dreams and never laughed at their aspirations. Knitting classes during Friday afternoon ‘funtime’ started and she knew just how to make sure that there was always something for everyone. When I was upset about something at home on the day of school photographs (I had been having a good old cry on her immaculate shoulder), she made the photographer go to the other classes and come back to us while she applied make up (from her very own make up bag) onto my face to disguise the fact that I had been blubbering for most of the morning! When we found out that we would have her again in Year 5, the whole class cheered and hoped that she would stay with us until we left the school. Many years later I qualified as a primary school teacher, using her practices and techniques for engaging the students. One day I walked into yet another staffroom, as part of my supply job, to meet the Head Teacher. As she held out her hand to welcome me to the school, I recognised her face – it was Miss Doxsey (now Mrs Charlton, funnily enough), my Year 4/5 teacher. My heroine. My inspiration! What did I say to her, I hear you ask…well, how does ‘You taught me at Moorgate!’ isn’t exactly inspired, but it was accurate! She later appeared in my classroom, to inform the Year 5 class that I was teaching that she had once been MY teacher in Year 5 and if I had any problems with anyone… The class were amazed and cross-examined me about what she had been like. Even as a Head Teacher she had never lost the personal touch with ‘her’ children – they all adored her – and I still aspire to be as good as her! Sherrie Charlton
Mrs Johnson from Victoria College, Belfast inspired me by teaching A Level History & Appreciation of Art as though we were already students and kept me very motivated that I would find a way of studying Architecture even when I was struggling with my other subjects. I mostly remember Mrs J’s classes as being fun and informal but she still taught us and imparted her knowledge. She got us to take the lead and do our own presentations on an Impressionist artist and collating and providing study notes to our class mates. This was invaluable experience for “crits” that I would later endure at Art College. I think because she was one of the few teachers to treat us like adults and to give us respect and freedom it made us warm to her more on a human level. This meant that ultimately we were (hopefully) easier to teach and each of us wanted to get as much as possible out of Mrs J’s teaching. With Mrs J as a teacher it was great to be able to do her proud and get to university based on my A Level results straight after School. I cannot thank her enough! Catherine Doyle
I had an English teacher in my middle years at secondary school, the wonderfully named Miss Venus. She was just out of college and I properly LOVED her. She inspired my love of books and writing and it’s because of her I studied English at uni. She even wrote to me after she left the school to keep me encouraged. In Year 4 we had a very dull teacher but one day had a brilliant supply teacher. Mr Barrett. He taught us how to make a sundial and we went outside and tested them. I’m still in touch with some of my primary friends and we all remember that one day! Claire Hitchcock
Mrs Johnson from the art department of Victoria College in Belfast. She not only encouraged in me a love of art history and taught me how to write a great exam essay, she also showed a tremendous amount of care towards me during my A-Levels when my mum was ill in hospital with cancer. Mrs Johnson phoned me to check that I was ok and to pass on my good marks to give me something positive to focus on during what was a very difficult time. I went on to achieve 3 very good A-Levels despite what was going on at home and I think that a lot of that was due to her care and support. I will never forget her kindness. Clare Rimmer
My inspirational teacher was Mr Barry McCann from Maghull High. Took no messing but always had time for people. Everyone was a little scared of him but those were the types of teachers I learned more from! Neil Bayliff
Mr Brian Russell- 4th Year (now year 6). His passion for all good novels and opening up the world of Roald Dahl- his inspiration still lives on and has been passed onto my eldest, age 7 and beginning to show in 5-year-old son. I understand he is no longer with us, but he will forever remain an inspiration to me. Many memories of reading and all the work we did around it – The Hobbit, The Witches, The BFG, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and many more – all still remain firm favourites in my household. How did we get through so many books in one year! Vicki Seamons
Did you have a teacher who inspired you? Feel free to share in the comments below.
By Clare Rimmer