The unsung hero who bumped up my grade

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Did you know last week was Teacher Appreciation Week? I didn’t even know it existed until I saw it mentioned online.

Personally, I think teachers are amazing and my jaw often drops to the ground with some of the things my five-year-old daughter Caitlin tells me she has learnt at school.

Recently she told me about the first man on the moon and the names of the astronauts. I think she knew more than me.

Then there was the time she told me the name of the line between the southern and northern hemispheres – the equator.

It seems only days ago she was a baby, waking in the middle of the night for a feed.

Now she is fast becoming an expert on space travel and the geography of our planet.

All of this and so much more she has learned from her teachers.

Not only do they fill our children’s sponge-like minds with useful information, but they also care for them every day, five days a week.

As a father of two daughters, it really does give me peace of mind knowing my girls are being educated and looked after at school and ultimately being parented by their teachers.

It makes me think about my time at school in Portsmouth and about the teachers that taught me and looked after me day in day out.

I don’t think it’s an easy job. but there are some who really stand out, ones I’ve remembered into adulthood.

My secondary school was St Edmund’s and my favourite teacher was Miss Jackson, my English teacher.

She taught me when I was doing my GCSEs at the age of 15, but at the time she certainly wasn’t my favourite teacher.

Why? Because she kept making me re-do my coursework.

At the time, this counted towards my GCSE grades and was done at home.

So in my naive teenage mind, I was being overworked.

Not only would I have to work hard all day at school, but the work would continue into the evening at home when I’d rather be doing anything else but work.

Eventually though, through encouragement from Miss Jackson and many re-writes, I managed to bump up my grade from a D to a B. I’d like to thank her for helping me reach that grade, but even more so, for the other important lesson she taught me – to keep trying and never give up.

She was a great teacher. Yes, there are some teachers who aren’t so great and we can all name them too, but they are the exception.

Most teachers are incredible unsung heroes and their lessons really do stay with us forever.