Teachers: I love you.
There, I’ve said it!
I love you. I love you all.
What I also want to say is THANK YOU, thanks for all you do to support young people and build dreams, knowledge, passion and enthusiasm within the next generations.
I haven’t always felt like this, in fact I used to think I really hated teachers – from Miss Cooper at Junior school who used to poke my back with her index finger and say: ”you know you’ve got the intelligence but you just don’t apply it”;
Miss Brewster in Juniors who used to make me speak to her in French and made sure my parents got me to take the 12 plus;
Mr White who endured my arrogance in English at Secondary School;
Mr Wardell who coped with our humming and general idiocy in Physics.*
All of these real people who were giving their time and care to me and my classmates must have gone home at times with their heads hanging low wondering they chose teaching. Or wondering why teachinghad chosen them. Admittedly there were some who could have been the inspiration for the teachers in ‘The Wall’ by Pink Floyd, but the majority of all teachers were – and are – there as a vocation.
After working for years in the wrong jobs, I remember the moment clearly as if it were yesterday; the moment when I decided I wanted to stop doing a meaningless job at a University and start to do a meaningful job working with young people. The moment when the cold air slapped me round the face as I left work which said “there’s more to YOUR life than this”. That was when I’d decided to be the person I had needed when I was younger.
The past fifteen years have been the most exciting, creative and rewarding period of my life – working in partnership with hundreds of teachers to support young people has been the best way I could think of to redress the balance I got so spectacularly wrong when I was younger.
Teachers work SO damned hard, think about everything as either a learning tool, prop or metaphor, consider their students’ needs (especially that disengaged Year 10 who seems to have lost focus this past term) and how they can support their team, colleagues and friends just a bit more. Teachers do NOT deserve the constant sniping, accusations of laziness and all the other culture-war nonsense stirred up in recent months when everyone is doing the best that they can. I’m so proud of my daughter Millie, in her fifth year as a Primary Teacher – I know how hard she works and how much she cares about her pupils – she’s one of hundreds of thousands of you who put yourselves out to support your colleagues, pupils and communities every day.
I will continue to defend all teachers as they deliver their promises to their students and continue to do the right thing.
I’m going to end here and say that when you’re having a tough time, remember that that time will pass and you will emerge triumphant once more.
Remember also, that teachers teach everyone – your gift to the world is shared by everyone – sadly not everyone remembers that gift or uses it in the most positive way. That’s the thing with gifts. though, however they are used, they are always given for the right reason. Keep being you, millions of people love you for who you are and what you do for the world, I’m one of them.
*My thinly-veiled exploits as a teenage clown are featured in my Back Row Boys books.