If you know me, you probably know that I can be a little (or a lot) competitive. I can't help it, I'm wired to be a perfectionist and to give my everything - it's something I am learning how to control.
Anyway, in my first year of High School, I had a teacher (actually I had him all through High School and Sixth Form but that's not the point) who, in his first class, brought out that competitiveness in me with a simple declaration "You're all stupid." Okay, that sounds pretty harsh, but he went on to basically challenge us to prove him wrong - something I continued to try to do in every class I had with him for the next 7 years.
It seems like such a small thing but it's one of my main memories of High School in general, and I would go on to tell you that he was, by far, my favourite teacher. For those of you who are curious, he was the R.E. teacher, but I don't remember his name (though I know what he looks like and where he lives...).
In Sixth Form he took his challenges to the next level and I have always been proud to say that twice I managed to beat him at it. The first time was when he was talking about The Incredibles - he was using it to explain the theory that there can't be a God (which this blog is not about) due to the idea of parallel universes. I hadn't seen the film, but ended up quoting it to make his point (he was a little upset that he didn't get to say it). The other time is debatable; obviously I am going to say I believe I was right, if you asked him he might not agree. The question was basically - what's the point of a doughnut? I'm not going to give my answer here as I'll leave it up to you to decide. He said he saw a flaw in my answer, but he never gave a reason why; which is why I'm fairly certain that I beat him at his own game, even if it was only once.
He wasn't the only teacher to ever have an effect on me and my life; but he is the one I remember most vividly. He had a whole new way of seeing the world and how he taught (I didn't get to the do the lesson on The Clangers, but I don't know any other teacher who would have even considered using that show). I improved my debating skills (beyond our dinner table) and my essay writing in his classes - writing an essay about how not to write an essay was possibly one of my least favourite homework assignments, though possibly one of his easiest. Most importantly I grew my self-confidence and belief in myself through his classes. I don't think he was the only reason but I am willing to stand up and say that he had a huge part in it.
Do you remember your favourite teacher from school? What was it about them that makes you remember them?
(Sidenote - I nearly didn't use this title as a 'Clanger' is also something that is a food item that is specific to where I live, as I discovered in my first year of Uni, but it sounded too good to give up.)