Thursday, 2 February 2012

In Praise of Teachers

All too often, teachers are criticised and blamed when there are issues with our children's behaviour or academic performance.  Whereas no doubt there are some that deserve it, in my experience, most teachers are dedicated, caring professionals doing their very best under what can sometimes be difficult circumstances.

Teachers come in many different guises. I had an eccentric, unkempt teacher who would pick his nose and wipe it on the blackboard. It was hard to take him seriously. Another teacher, despised by many for his short temper and lack of tolerance for any sort of nonsense, was an absolute hero to me.

It is inevitable that in any group of people there are always going to be some that you relate to and feel an affinity with and some that for whatever reason, you simply don't get on with. Why should it be any different with teachers? Whether it be a teaching style that doesn't suit, a personality clash , or even disliking the tone of someone's voice - there are all sorts of obstacles that can stand in the way of having a good relationship with a teacher.

The education system isn't perfect - there will always be teachers who fail to support or inspire their pupils - but it is what is it and we have to work with it. I have always tried to instil in my children that their education is their responsibility. Teachers are there to facilitate it but if they feel that they are not being given everything they need, there are other ways to approach their learning. I have been so proud of how my girls have been able to do exactly that and thrive. It is more than just a means to achieve a grade in an exam - it is a lesson in life about taking control, putting in the effort to obtain a result and most importantly learning that there will always be situations that are less than ideal and finding the best way forward.

Good, bad or indifferent, our teachers are people we spend a lot of our childhood in the company of. They influence us and it is hard to forget them.

My youngest daughter is just starting out on her academic journey. So far, it has been a very positive experience and I can't praise her teachers highly enough for their part in making her feel settled and secure and I have been greatly impressed by how much my little Addy is learning. After just one term in her early years setting she is confidently writing her own name and blending letter sounds to read simple words.

She has many years of compulsory education ahead of her and I will do all that I can to ensure that it continues to be a positive experience for her and that her full potential is realised. The teachers that she encounters on her journey will have an enormous part to play in this and I hope that the memories she takes into adulthood of her schooldays will be the very best kind. And just maybe there will be a teacher or two in years to come that will look back on their career and remember a strong willed, feisty little blue eyed blonde with an appetite for learning and will wonder what became of her.


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  2. This is lovely to read. I know from a parents perspective how frustrated we can get about poor teaching. From a teachers perspective I always hope that parents realise how much most us us take the job to heart.I have laid awake at night worrying about a child at school. I love nothing better than to meet a smiling face all grown up telling me what they are doing at Uni.I hope your little one has happy school memories.


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