Celebrate a teacher

World Teachers Day is the day we celebrate those dedicated professionals who spend their time inspiring children and shaping future generations. Frankly, we should celebrate our teachers every day. Every time you read or write, remember how you learnt and who helped you.

I qualified as a teacher back in 1990, and realise now that it is the best profession I could possibly have entered. Teachers make the difference. We all remember teachers from our formative years. Mostly we remember our great teachers, the ones who made the most impact on us - and sometimes the ones we would really like to forget.

Today I would like to celebrate two excellent teachers who inspired me, and helped shape me into the person I am today.

The first was Mr Handel (pictured above - I'm immediately in front of his right hand), a primary school teacher who took me under his wing when I was struggling to make sense of school. He encouraged me, and spent a significant amount of his time supporting me as I came to terms with learning. He was always calm and spoke softly to everyone. Mr Handel was also a scout leader, and encouraged me and others to pursue learning outside and beyond the classroom. I will not forget the tremendous efforts he put into making his teaching accessible to all, and the empathy he showed to every one of his students.

The second was Mr Domagne, an American educator who was my music and drama teacher in my last two years at school. Larry, as he wanted us all to call him, was a gifted musician and actor, who put on plays and musicals, and ran the school choir. He turned a blind eye when I sometimes appeared at the back of his lessons, although we both knew I should have been elsewhere. Larry was always passionate and excited about his subject, and this transferred to all those students who fell under his spell. He taught me that it was OK to explore, fail and learn from that failure.

Do you have any teachers from your past you would like to celebrate? What did they do that inspired you, or challenged you? I'm looking forward to reading your comments below.

Photo courtesy of Cherhill Primary School

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World Teachers Day by Steve Wheeler was written in Plymouth, England and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.


Anonymous said…
Mrs Haliday who helped me when I had to wear glasses and was different to everyone else in the class... Annie Vincent who is the best teacher I've ever worked with..her teaching is like watching magic happen in front of my eyes
Rob Knight said…
I always cite two very passionate Geography / Humanities teachers as two of the greatest inspirations on me with my creative pursuit of landscape photography. Mr Mitchell and Mr Thompson (who also ran the football team) were so passionate about their subjects, they listened and coached. Their passion for both the subjects and learning was infectious and really instilled both a love of our landscape and human interaction with it as well as an inquisitive nature to ask my own questions and explore deeper to find my own path.

Through my many talks to arts clubs, festivals, camera clubs and through my own creative workshops I reference Mr T and Mr M as being the single biggest influence on my creative journey as well as my journey into education as a Geographer. Their influence was far more important than any photographer of the past as inspiring as I find the work of Michael Kenna and others I will always owe a massive debt to these two teachers who have shaped the person I am........... indeed I encourage others through my creative workshops to reflect and look back on people who may have influenced and inspired them and to look outside of their field of creativity for wider and often more important influences.
Anonymous said…
A stand out teacher for me was Mr Jeremy Toft. I moved primary school aged 8 after spending a whole afternoon too scared to admit my pen did not work during a writing assignment.Mr Toft had a completely different approach that involved drawing, inclusivity, nature walks, encouraging discussion and openness.I do understand now what a complex intervention teaching is but it is difficult to overestimate the change in me caused by the contrast in class atmosphere.
Richard Wotton said…
My standout teachers were Mr Brinkley (French) and Mr Collins (physics). Mr B had such a lovely manner who made learning languages much easier. He had a sense of humour and made you feel like you could do anything. Mr C was a proud Welshman who loved having fun and winding up a certain PE teacher. He was the man who opened my eyes to science, a subject I still have a love for. It was because of him I went on to do a degree in Chemistry. I model myself on parts of their teaching on my own classroom.

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