Sunday, August 26, 2012

Grateful for Teachers With Spunk

SPUNK - noun

  • Definition: courage and determination

    We've recently been through the decision making, and enrolment processing tasks for Ruby's school entry next year.  It's been rather daunting.

    The whole process had got me thinking about my own schooling years.   Primary school in particular.   What was it about those years that I found the most beneficial, most memorable and most remarkable?  And what do I hope my own children get from these schooling years.

    I have fond memories of the usual highlights from many years.  You know, the camps, the calf club days, the teacher throwing dusters at misbehaving children (Mrs Jones, I'm looking at you!).  But what sticks out the most is not one of the one off events.   Rather it's an entire year of education provided with courage and charisma by one Mr Holmes.  
  • My form 1 year (I think that is Grade 6) was lead by a teacher who had the courage and determination, some may say spunk, to teach in his own way.  Our class was always so far left of any other class, that for a good part of the year it didn't even feel like we were at school.  Much of the classes were taught outside, doing activities that I highly doubt were part of the curriculum.  Then there were other topics taught inside the classroom, again, probably not on the curriculum, but which have stuck with me.  Every day other classes would look at us through the windows as if to say, why do they always get to go outside or do fun stuff?  We were creative, we were roudy, we were challenged,  and we were lead to think outside the square.   
Of course there was a camp. But this was by no means your normal camp.  This camp included night ghost walks where parents were waiting in the forest we were outside of, ready to scare the shit out of us.  It also included a disco where the boys and girls swapped clothes for the night.  For 11 and 12 year olds, these were big deals!

No, no, Mr Holmes was not your run of the mill teacher.  We knew that back then too.  From day one I knew there was something different about him.  Looking back now, I believe he had a courage and a determination that other teachers didn't have.  That year was filled with more laughs, noise, fun and learning of your non-conventional style than any other year of my education.  If nothing else, he made going to school enjoyable. 

I do, however, feel quite sorry for the teacher who had the task of trying to curb all of that noise and creative freedom the next year.  I think it was a bit of a shock to the system for both her and all of us. 

I look back and I am so grateful that one of my schooling years included the one in which is was taught by him.  I hope as my children grow, that they may have teachers and leaders with spunk, who inspire and challenge and are passionate about children and their education.
Do you have a memorable teacher of leader that had made an impact on your education?

Linking up with more Gratefuls at Village Voices

*I really don't know what happened to the formatting in this post.

3 comments:

  1. This is on my mind more and more lately. Very soon I'll have to trust there are great teachers out there. Because I can't think of any teachers who had any significant impact on me, but then I moved around too much. But I know they're out there. Ones who are passionate about what they do. Who challenge, but most of all who inspire. Just like you say.

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  2. hooray to spunky teachers, my daughter has one this year, plenty of amazing ideas and chaos. I had a wonderful Year 10 English teacher who got me in a debating team, and a really hippy Australian Studies Year 12 teacher that taught us to think differently. So awful when your kids get an average teacher.

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  3. What an amazing teacher! I had one English teacher in secondary school who was so passionate and enthusiastic - he chose different novels to the school curriculum for us to study, and we all loved them. The books he chose challenged our thinking, and inspired our creativity. Teachers like this really do make such a difference x

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