I was lucky enough to go to a very good school which had a number of excellent teachers. To choose one inspirational teacher is a very difficult choice as, to be honest, I had quite a few. The one who stands out though would be Mr H, my form tutor through years 9 – 11.
Mr H had just joined St. Thomas More RC High School when he took my class as his form. To begin with, he demanded that we stand on his arrival, and that silence was a must in his presence unless you were spoken to. At first the students, who had not received such direct orders before, were happy to go along with this routine.
After a few weeks it became quite frustrating to say the least! I think it is fair to say 9am was not a happy time of the day. Not only did it signify the start of lessons, but now it had become the start of military school, and Mr H’s class were the only ones attending.
However, after a short period of time, I feel that Mr H realised that this was not the best way to get the respect and authority that he deserved, and he very quickly became a mentor for my class, instead of an authoritarian.
Mr H would speak to us as adults and give advice based on his childhood or life experiences, rather than using generic ideologies and theories that most teachers would use.
Over the next 3 years our class and Mr H formed a good relationship, one that meant we knew our place and that if he ever had to raise his voice you knew you were in trouble. With his manner and level of communication with us, Mr H very quickly earned the respect of his students.
It was his transformation from the first day in Year 9 until the day I left High School that is an inspiration to me. Children don’t always need to be the ones to change in order to make the classroom experience a better one for all; it is joint effort that requires compromise and respect of each party’s place. We became better students as he developed into a confident and inspirational teacher.
This is something I hope I have taken into my professional and personal life myself.