Saturday, 19 March 2011

Teachers we have loved...

I never really enjoyed my school days. My early memories of my first school were of strict teachers, embarassing situations and a general dread of what was going to happen next. The two teachers I had are not remembered for their kindness.

Then a brand new school was build just around the corner, so local children left one school and joined another. I can still remember the first day there, aged 7 when the varnish on the hall floor was still wet. That school was created around us, a swimming pool was built (my friend and I held a fete in her house to raise funds), we had school pets and went on a brilliant trip in the 4th year juniors to the Isle of Wight. Mrs Williams, Mrs Neild, Miss Krelle and Mr Granath are remembered with fondness. They were fun, and cared for us all.

Then came the local comprehensive. I hated it. I dreaded it. Not only were the teachers unfriendly, but I didn't excel and couldn't see the point of what we were learning. There were some good times, I made a tray in plastics (still in use!), learned to type and got some good grades in RE! I remember a detention, a teacher throwing a chalk at me, and feeling ill some days at the thought of going. It wasn't until the sixth form, that a form tutor noticed some potential in this average (or below average) girl and encouraged me to do different things - like help in the careers office, be chairperson of a young enterprise company and look beyond working in a bank when I left at 18. Mr Ford was the only teacher I have kept in touch with ever since.

69 million primary aged children around the world do not go to school. However organisations like Christian Aid are trying to make it possible. At the end of my education I managed 5 O'levels and 2 (extremely low) grade A levels. That's 45p. Amazingly 4 years later I managed an HNC (40p) and then 10 years later a 2:1 degree (50p). Both of those were highly relevant, and motivated me in a way those unnamed teachers didn't and those named ones did. If my £1.35 today goes someway to motivating someone else it's money well spent.

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