Imaginative Teachers

A couple of teachers that I had over the years up to school-leaving age have left a very positive imprint on my heart and mind.

One was a guy who always seemed to look for ways to make us think and not just focus on sticking rigidly to the syllabus.

One day, he arrived in with a list of sayings and distributed one to each of us. I got: ‘Success breeds success.’ I can vividly remember fumbling around trying to explain what I thought it meant but knew I wasn’t being very coherent. He encouraged me to think through what it might mean.

All these years on, it has stayed with me and it springs to mind in relation to everything from the way seeding in tennis is a prime example as is managing to build confidence from attaining what may seem like a tiny goal to others – walking 2km consistently and getting the confidence to push on to participate in a 10km or 20km walk.

There was a scheme in our school where kids in their final year were paired with a teacher to help out with the younger kids.

I was paired with my Success breeds Success teacher. One of the assignments he set me was to give a 20 minute talk to a group of 12 year olds about how technology was likely to impact on all our lives in 50 years time.

I didn’t have Google to help me but tried to let my imagination run wild. Computers were the size of houses back then and we were still in the era of telephone operators and black and white televisions. Robots were central to my talk. I think Dr. Who was my inspiration there. I certainly didn’t foresee the massive impact of the internet and virtual world.

But, almost every day, something from the life lessons taught by this teacher flash into my head.

I hope you were fortunate to have at least one teacher who left a lasting, positive impression on you?

Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and sense of place.

19 thoughts on “Imaginative Teachers”

  1. Good post, Jean. I’m fortunate to remember a few good ones. In primary school there were teachers who introduced us to music and poetry. There were teachers who were simply kind and creative; others excelled with sport and drama.
    I had a maths teacher who explained what every topic’s purpose in real life was for. Abstract topics such as functions and binary numbers were clearly explained in an interesting fashion.
    Then there was a teacher who lives near the sea; she excelled in her topic; taught writing and study skills and encouraged us all. Attention to detail, clear concise instruction, patience and kindness came naturally. You have a keen pedagogical nous, Jean, and your students won’t forget you.

    I’m not forgetting our coffee. It will have to be mid-term break if that’s ok.

    1. Thanks so much, John, I’m scarlet!
      I envy you that you found your love of maths. I am sure you’re passion for it shines through to those you teach.
      Yes, coffee on the mid-term menu .

  2. I like how often you appreciate those in your path. I wish all children, and adults, too, had those impactful teachers in their lives. I saw it often how much one teacher made a difference that affected a student’s life, including mine.

  3. Isn’t that great that your teacher lives on in your memory Jean. I’m afraid I can’t remember getting much inspiration from any quarter when I was young. My grammar school teachers gave the impression that they hated their jobs and us boys. It’s a wonder I scraped through my A Levels really and I left school with no idea of a future career path. No one was remotely interested either (or possibly I was just unreceptive).

      1. That’s kind Jean. I guess the realities of a teacher’s life can knock one’s idealism. However, enabling others in little ways can only be good for both of you.

  4. The teachers I remember are no the ones who were most organized or had the most engaging lessons. They are the ones who were the kindest and took a genuine interest in my life. A lovely post, thanks for sharing!

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