In answer to your question I would like to tell you about three of my favourite teachers. Ms Theaker was my teacher in Year 8. She was mean. There is no other way to describe it. She stomped her heavy boots over every primary school teacher stereotype - she was grumpy, she was firm, sometimes she even shouted but the key thing was that when she shouted, she shouted at everyone. Ms Theaker was a amazing gift under the Christmas Tree of education - she was fair. We all recognised it and we all loved her for it, even if she didn't really seem to like us.
Mrs Roberts was my biology teacher in high school and she was the first teacher I had that I felt genuinely loved her subject. She was fascinated by science and not ashamed to show it. You'd have to be dead inside for her enthusiasm not to rub off on you. Everyone loved lessons with Mrs Roberts and as a result everyone loved biology. She was authentic to the core; she shared stories about herself to help us understand topics and she apologised when our homework came back with tea stains. She was game for a laugh not because she wanted to be loved but because she loved laughing
Madame Portwine was tiny, stern and impossibly French. Madame Portwine taught me the language of love for five years, during which time I only things I learned were to ask directions to the station and to say that I'm an only child (which I am not but it stopped further questioning). Madame Portwine was always there, always dressed immaculately, always with her face on and in a cloud of something heady and I imagine expensive. As fancy as she looked her teaching was no frills. She doled out French in its truest form and you either absorbed it or you did not. She didn't dress up the fact that I was rubbish at the language, she didn't come down on me nor did she sugar coat that fact that I sounded more del boy than Dieppe; she just persistently and consistently gave me the opportunity to distinguish my tu from my vouz for half a decade. There was something impenetrable about Madame Portwine and even in that regard she never let me down.
So yes I did. I had many. Even the unmotivated, unwashed and slightly sexually inappropriate (I wish I was lying) taught me something about who I wanted to become. Teaching is less and less about understanding semi colons or river formation because anyone with a reading age of eleven and a couple of hours on Google can work that stuff out. As a teacher today I think it's important to think beyond the facts and consider what else you might be bringing to the table. What's special about you that might help a child understand what's special about them? Maybe it's your creativity or love of life or sense of calm. Whatever it is make it true to you and, like me, the lesson may remain with them for years to come. The teachers that inspired me most where the ones that realised as an educator it's important to show, not tell.
Becky is a drama teacher and blogs about home improvements, teaching and the wonderful world of motherhood over on her blog Educating Roversi.