Friday, October 28, 2011

In praise of Teachers

Somehow in the post family illness shambles this draft post never made it to the real world. But it's an important one to me so I am going to post it now, regardless of how untimely it is!

World Teachers Day is the 5th October - everywhere in the world except Australia. Here that date falls in the school holidays so we celebrate our appreciation for the work of teachers on 28th October.
I have long been an admirer of the teaching profession. When I was younger I considered it as a career but realised I didn't have the right skills. So it is a wonderful bonus for me as an author that I have the opportunity to visit schools and 'pseudo teach'.

Teachers can change lives. Whenever a group of my friends gather and the subjects of school (such a long time ago!) comes up, everyone has a story to tell about a teacher that made a big impression.

Cartoon courtesy of
I am personally indebted to a number of teachers - as a parent and an author and a student. I was a quiet, bookish and academic kid in a home where such qualities were not valued. My teachers supported my interests and gave me a sense of self-esteem. There was Miss Mudford, my primary school principal who seemed so old to me then, but is now in her twilight years - and still remembered to ask after me at the recent reunion I couldn't attend. My high school Maths teacher of four years was a man I much admired and when I accidentally ran in to him a few years ago (amazing co-incidence, I didn't go to school anywhere near where I live now), I found my childhood opinion was well-formed. We are now friends.

English was my favourite subject and the two teachers who influenced me most, encouraging me to indulge my passion for reading and convincing me to write, are acknowledged in my first published work. I still exchange emails and letters with one of them. It was the school librarian who taught me Ancient History and introduced me to historical novels.

As a parent, teachers are an important part of my children's life. My recent novel, Samurai Kids 7: Golden Bat is dedicated to three very special teachers - they taught my children, encouraged me as an author and became valued friends. The inscription says For Jane, Kerrie and Margaret. Teachers are golden.

And they are. Shining lights.

1 comment:

Jeffery E Doherty said...

I never really read a novel all the way through until Year 11. Mr. English teacher Mr. Powell made a huge difference in my life.

Now I work with some wonderful and dedicated teachers every day. They are golden.


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