One teacher who springs to mind as qualifying for being an influence for good was the headmistress of the junior school I attended. In those days political correctness had not been invented and we had a headmistress and a deputy headmaster, whose name escapes me. He was the only male teacher and was known as, “Sir”.
The role of the headmistress included much of the management of the school and she demonstrated her leadership during the daily school assemblies. These were an act of Christian worship. She also taught (possibly for as much as an hour a week) in each of the eight classes.
I remember that she introduced us to Norse and Greek Mythologies. She also read the books, The Princess and Curdie and The Princess and the Goblin to the class I was in.
I liked them so much that I chose to read At the Back of the North Wind by the same author. There was a copy on the bookshelf in the classroom. Any book we borrowed from it had to be read from cover to cover and a review of it written before another could be chosen.
George MacDonald was an imaginative writer.
I have mentioned this teacher before in a post about public speaking. She retired at the same time that I left junior school ready to move on to the next stage in my education.
As far as I remember it was only later that I heard that she was married to a member of GK Chesterton’s family. He wrote the Father Brown books among others and is another of my favourite authors. I have always been inspired by his reputation for being generous with his writing.
Mrs Chesterton was generous to her pupils. At least twice a year she examined the English and Maths workbooks. Pupils who had worked well were encouraged with a handwritten comment in green ink and a star. These were rewarded later with a threepenny bit for each star. Her generosity was also demonstrated when she retired and presented the school with a picture. Most people would have simply accepted a retirement gift as a reward for long-service.
Through her leadership I received a very good foundation for my subsequent education. My love of a certain genre of literature must be partly due to her influence.
Written in response to 365 Days of writing prompts from the WordPress.com Editors.
Tell us about a teacher who had a real impact on your life, either for the better or the worse. How is your life different today because of him or her?
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