The Aged P

…just toasting and ruminating….

14 June
Comments Off on Confessions Of A Teacher….

Confessions Of A Teacher….

A few days ago we went, as “guests of honour” to a school reunion which included several people I had taught nearly half a century ago in the 1960s. Several of women asked my wife how old I was as I didn’t look much different to all the other men in the room. In fact they were all round about 60 while I’m in my early 70s….at those ages the grey hairs, wrinkles and paunches make us all seem the same whereas to a 12 yr old even someone in their mid 20s (as I was then) just looks….ancient…

Everyone was very kind and some said they remembered one or two things I had taught them. A few even told me that I had sparked off a lifelong interest in history. They reminded me of things I had said and done in the classroom (much of which I could not recall…lol…) and there was a collective reminder of idiosyncrasies (some of which, I confess, I had deliberately cultivated)

It was fascinating to also hear about their own pathways through life and see the pictures of children and grandchildren from men and women I had last seen in school uniform filing out of my classroom or running across the playground.

I felt honoured to be there and touched that they should want to include me in their fellowship. But that is the bonus of being a teacher. Despite the myths and caricatures that surround schools I have found that there was very little difference between the young adolescents in the 60s and those I was teaching nearly forty years later (and most of my career was spent in bog standard comprehensives…)

I always made it clear that I was in charge of the classroom and that there were certain behaviours that were unacceptable. But within those boundaries the work we did would be laced with good humour and mutual respect and, whatever happened, I was always guided by one key factor.

That these young people are not yet adults and will sometimes be immature, thoughtless and irresponsible – just as we were at that age….

No, as a teacher there is little chance of getting wealthy – but there can be other riches that go beyond price…

 

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