There is a saying that the purpose of education is to replace an empty mind with an open one. If that is true than (Name) has succeeded in filling plenty of blank spaces with enough knowledge to pass examinations. More importantly he has opened our minds to the wonderful possibilities life has to offer.
It hasn’t been easy for him because, reluctant as most pupils are to admit this, being a teacher is not easy. It demands patience and commitment and a passion for sharing knowledge, quite often with people who don’t want to know.
After all if a teacher had a class full of eager, bright students teaching would be enjoyable, a real meeting of minds. Unfortunately for most of them school life is not like that. Their pupils will be a mixed bunch, some bright, others totally uninterested and the vast majority somewhere in between.
That is the challenge that faced (Name) although of course I would like to be able to claim that we were a class full of genii.
He faced that challenge with gusto and expertise. Whether we liked it or not he was going to open those closed minds of ours. . He was going to awaken our interest, feed our curiosity, and show us that learning was enjoyable and worthwhile.
Now I will not claim that that was easy. It isn’t in any book of rules but students know that there is a fine line drawn between teachers and pupils and that it isn’t cool to be seen to be too studious. He, though, managed to get us to sit up and take notice.
He didn’t stop at that though. He became our confidante and our friend. His interest in us was total.
He wanted the best for us and somehow you can’t resist that. We knew he wanted us to succeed and someone we wanted to succeed for him.
That is not to say that he wanted us all to pass our exams with flying colours. Naturally he would like that. More importantly, though, he wanted us to prove our own worth in our own different ways. He acknowledged that we were all different with differing abilities and he set great store on accepting those differences and respecting them. Furthermore he expected his whole class to appreciate those differences and respect others. More than anything though he wanted each one of us to challenge ourselves and to accept that challenge and meet our own individual potential.
There are many opportunities in life and he wanted us to be aware of them and not to limit ourselves in any way. He had good relationships with our parents too and always wanted us to work together as a team, pupil, parents and teacher working for our common good. Above all his wonderful sense of humour brightened our days and, as a student I hate to admit this, made school not such a bad place after all.
He was interested in all our extra curricular activities and was always keen to learn about our games, our hobbies and our interests. If he could he would have had a personalised curriculum for every pupil according to those interests. As that was not possible he did his best to make the one we had as relevant to our world as is possible. Put simply he was a born teacher.