Warren Hayden: good teachers stay with you for life
Who was your favourite teacher? It's a question that is usually easy and enjoyable to answer because it brings back many great memories of the person who taught you things of value, and inspired you so much that you still remember them today.
I can name two great teachers from my school days that instantly come to mind.
I went to St Edmund’s Secondary School in Portsmouth and I had a fantastic English teacher called Miss Jackson.
I remember her so fondly because she always encouraged me to do better and to aim higher.
Then there was my history teacher Miss Dyke.
Most teenagers would sigh at the thought of an hour learning about the past, but she made the lessons come to life and I continue to be fascinated and seek to learn from the past.
Both my daughters, who are aged five and six, are currently in infant school in Portsmouth.
It’s become clear to me that teachers can make you feel special and have a big impact on your life, no matter what stage of schooling you are at.
Six-year-old Caitlin will be leaving her infant school next month and moving up to junior school in September.
This has recently got me reflecting on her first three years of school life and the effect it has had on her.
It is obvious to me that Caitlin has been taught by some incredibly talented and inspiring teachers.
I often joke that my six-year-old daughter is more clever than me, but it does amaze me when she comes home telling me what she’s learned.
I’ve always believed that good teachers teach, but exceptional teachers not only teach, but also inspire.
It is clear that this is the case with Caitlin.
But there are many more reasons why I have such respect for the profession.
Their working day begins when their students are probably still asleep and ends long after the school bell has rung.
They teach a lot more than what’s on the curriculum, such as values and life skills.
They have the patience of a saint to deal with so many children with different needs all day.
Quite simply, teachers are the unsung heroes of our lives.
I’m sad that Caitlin is leaving her infant school in a few weeks, but I know she’ll remember those teachers for many years to come.
What awaits her will be new teachers who I anticipate will fill her mind with even more information she’ll need as she gets older.
I also expect the joke that she is cleverer than daddy may actually become a reality.
THE DREADED C WORD – IN JUNE
It’s summer and in the coming weeks we’ll hopefully be seeing more blue skies along with glorious warm sunshine.
Any spare time will be spent queuing at the ice cream van, having water fights and filling the ice cube tray.
But I was surprised recently when I read an article containing the C word, Christmas.
It is six months until Christmas trees will be up in the corner of the living room and the shops will be full of Christmas crackers, but we’re being told to prepare already.
One high street store has predicted what will be this year’s top toys at Christmas. Apparently we’re going to be fighting in the aisles for a toy caterpillar, a motorised train set and an 18in baby doll.
I love Christmas, it is my favourite time of the year, and I’m usually in the ‘sooner it starts the better’ camp. But although I appreciate the advance warning for these toys that may well sell out, it’s June so I simply won’t be giving it any thought just yet. Maybe in September. What, still too soon?