I have been blessed to have had a number of great teachers during my time at school; Mr. Pygott at Chestnut Street Primary School; Mrs. Hansen and Mrs. Gladwell at Mary Hare School for the Deaf, who encouraged my lifelong love of history. The fact that I remember all of these people so fondly is a testament to the impact that they had on me.
Yet the one that stands out the brightest is Mr. Mark Chandler, who was first my Religious Education Teacher and then my Business Studies Teacher.
Looking back, the fact that Mr. Chandler taught the subject was a contributing factor towards my decision to study Business Studies at both GCSE and A-Level.
Mr. Chandler couldn’t have been much older than the 30 years that I have now, yet he had wisdom beyond his years. At least I thought so.
First and foremost he was a great educator.
There was something about the manner in which Mr. Chandler taught, that inspired me, although I can’t quite put my finger on exactly what that was. Perhaps some teachers have a natural way with people.
During his classes, I used to daydream of becoming an entrepreneur. Back then, I wasn’t the most confident boy. I didn’t always have the courage to put my hand up, but Business Studies was one of the few subjects in which I was able to engage so freely; the others being History and English.
I truly thought that I could be good at business. The way that Mr. Chandler listened to my ideas only served to embolden this belief. I like to think that it was the legacy of his lessons which enables me to bounce business ideas off my Dad whilst working at TheSchoolBus.
Mr. Chandler was also a friend and mentor.
I used to wait behind after lessons and just chat with him for 10 minutes. He really was somebody who I felt I could confide in whenever I needed to get something off my chest. Mr. Chandler never turned me away.
I was quite shy and reserved, but we chatted about girls, relationships, homesickness, the future, anything. These conversations helped me to grow, to overcome my fears and insecurities about life.
When I returned to Mary Hare School 3 years ago to receive an outstanding achievement award, I didn’t manage to catch up with Mr. Chandler, although he was still teaching at the school.
If he is reading this, I would just like to say thank you to Mr. Chandler, for everything.