Posted in #BeTheInspiration, curriculum, education, leadership, learning, relationships, teaching, Track The Changes

Inspirational Teachers in my life

The latest in our #BeTheInspiration series from our guest blogger, teacher and artist Liz Anderson. Two weeks ago we posed the question, what happens if you don’t inspire the kids? on Twitter and our editor Maryann posted a piece on her own bad childhood experience. Here is the perfect response as Liz talks about how inspirational teachers can be found at any stage, from nursery to tertiary.

“I was a latecomer to further education at age 38.  My middle school education had been less than inspiring, leaving me with 2 O Levels and a nasty taste in my mouth as far as “official” learning was concerned.  However, I live but two minutes walk from Hopwood Hall College and that was where my journey of inspiration began… Good old ‘Access to Education’.

My internal motivation was fixed. If I hadn’t walked through the college doors that day, I wouldn’t be where I am now!  Ok, less of the ‘flopsy’ stuff.  My first lesson, as an Access Level 2 student, was with John Guinn (‘English Lit and Lang’) and he became my inspiration from ‘then on in’.  He really seemed to understand what each and every student needed.  He knew that I tried way too hard and read and researched, beyond the point of reason sometimes.  John understood why I would be the one who stuck my hand up and asked the seemingly daft questions, as I knew that classmates were afraid to. John just had a way of getting the best from many of his students by being simply a brilliant teacher.

With John’s guidance, patience and understanding I became and A* student in all of my subjects.  I think he restored my faith, not only in the education system, but also in own abilities to study.  He saw me through Access Levels 2 and 3, my UCAS application and when I graduated following my English Degree at the University of Salford I gave silent thanks to John.

I studied for my PGCE between Hopwood Hall and Bolton University.  I intended to teach English. John, very kindly agreed to be my mentor.  He was a hard taskmaster and never let me get away with anything.  He dragged me over the coals on several occasions, and rightly so if the truth be known.  Why he trusted me with two GCSE groups and an AS Level group I will never know. What I do know is that the students all did well and I am proud of them.

Walking through the halls of Hopwood Hall, MMU and Leeds University as an NQT gave me a sense of achievement and pride.  John wrote many of my work references so… hats off to John Guinn, an amazing and inspiring teacher!”

Liz Anderson

Who was your inspiration? Join the conversation on Twitter @_TheSchoolBus #BeTheInspiration.



I'm an ex-teacher with a real passion for education, politics and teaching. I am also a keen writer and blogger with strong opinions.

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