I have just finished 17 years of education. Wow. That’s scary!
7 years of primary school, where I learned a lot about myself and a lot about the world around me. It’s where I came to know Jesus and where I met some of my best friends.
7 years of secondary school, which were not easy by any means. A testing time but all in all, educational, in a worldly way and a personal way.
3 years of university. Year 1 was tough for many reasons but I got through it. It made me stronger and it made me realise that I am capable of surviving. The final two years of university were unforgettable. I met so many people, made so many friends and learned so much more.
But through all of these years of learning, a certain group of people have influenced me far more than I ever realised. My teachers.
In primary school
I had so many inspiring teachers. I do not wish to name names, but a teacher, who didn’t even teach me, was amazing. She was known as one of the strictest teachers in the school at yet, she was definitely one of the most encouraging and inspiring women I have ever met. She helped me to realise that, even though I was different and even though I struggled more than the other pupils, I was still more than capable of working.
Another teacher, again, who didn’t teach me, was the funniest teacher I have ever known. He was so kind and encouraging. And he left to go and do some amazing work in Thailand. Which is utterly brilliant and has really been on my mind a lot lately…
My headmaster at primary school was another great man who truly inspired positive thinking and self confidence. He was, again, one of the kindest people ever! He was a great man who seemed to know every single one of his pupils. He still asks after me when he meets my parents! Which is an amazing trait in any principal! And he’s still head mastering in that same little primary school!!
Each of these teachers taught me that I can achieve anything I set my mind to, that self confidence is, not always the key to success, but very useful and that, even when you’re knocked down, it doesn’t mean you’re out- you have to get back up and keep going. Because you can.
Side note: I started learning flute in primary school and my music teacher was not necessarily part of the school but he taught there. And he was such a cool dude too. I mean he was so funny and he has definitely given me the sense of humour I have today. And as well as that, I continued my music until I achieved grade 8 in secondary school and he has encouraged me to continue playing. He gave me the confidence to play in front of audiences and try new pieces of music.
In secondary school
In secondary school, as I said, it was a rough few years. Thankfully I had several inspiring teachers (again!). The first being my physics teacher. He was young and cool. He was also very relatable. Unlike many other teachers in secondary school, he didn’t make a fuss about my eyesight, he actually made jokes, asked questions and just let me get on with it (this may be because he knew my brother and family so probably knew that I was fiercely independent!). I loved that. He gave me confidence to stand up for myself and speak out!
A certain maths teacher/DofE leader helped me to come out of my skin and helped me to realise that I CAN do maths (a subject that I really struggled with!) if I put my mind to it and stop thinking so negatively! And he helped me to come out of my skin whilst introducing me to the joys of hiking! (It was the start of an addiction and the beginning of the dram to climb Mount Everest!) The (old) head teacher at secondary school was another great man (I am repeating myself a lot but they were great, great people!). Like my primary school principal, he seemed to know every single one of his pupils and asked them questions and genuinely seemed to care!
I should point out that both my principal and physics teacher were men of faith and they weren’t afraid to share that. Another thing I admired about them. Physics teacher really made me think, regarding the Big Bang theory.
“But what made the particles. And what made them collide?” #deep
But I must say, out of all the teachers in secondary school (and there were loads of really lovely people- including a biology teacher who liked veggie tales and a “can teach every subject” teacher who was an amazing woman of faith too) my two geography teachers were the people that had the biggest influence on my life. First geography teacher was the one who encouraged me to study geography for GCSE. Without him, I wouldn’t be where I am today. He boosted my confidence when I needed it most, concreted the wry sense of humour I had picked up from my music teacher and taught me that anything is possible if you’re willing to work for it (he also taught me “rccccr” regarding the water cycle “rises, cools, condenses, clouds form, rain” AND “fail to prepare and you prepare to fail”). Even now, when I teach in school every now and then, he encourages me and helps me, every time, to realise that, maybe I’m alright at this thing called life.
Second geography teacher has just been a great help regarding careers actually. And his enthusiasm for geography and teaching it to students astounds me to this day!
Again, more inspiring people. Mainly funny people. They taught me that, no one ever really knows what they’re doing, you just have to roll with it! They have also helped me to realise my potential and, yet again, concrete that sense of humour I was talking about!
Another man of faith who does incredible things for the school. A man who, dispute the sarcastic and insulting demeanour, cares deeply about how his students are coping. And many many more. So many great friends made with lecturers and students. So many memories made and so many things learned. I really hope they stay in contact…!
Teachers are important. Whether you loved school or hated it, your teachers will have an impact on your life. My teachers influenced me in so many ways:
My sense of humour, my self esteem, my confidence and my love for a subject… And so many other ways that I cannot process right now!
Whether you are a teacher or are considering becoming one, your job is worth it. You are an amazing and important part in young people’s lives and you have the power to make someone’s journey a better one, an easier one, a more enjoyable one. You can change the future and you can change a generation.
Even if you’re not a teacher, you are always influencing someone with how you act, talk and use social media. Make sure your impact is a positive one.
Until next time, God Bless x