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Friday 3 May 2013

Clangers and Doughnuts: Memories That Have Made Me

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.)


Chronically Creative said...

Hi hun! I've been reading through some of your posts smiling because I don't feel so alone. I would leave more comments than this one except that I am really brain fogged from reading and commenting on blogs this afternoon, and I feel like I've been smacked in the face with a shovel.

Anyway, that teacher sounds awesome, although I'm not too sure about the "you're all stupid" part. Reverse psychology maybe? Haha. I had a teacher who would yell at us and call us "stupid idiots" and tell us that we would never amount to anything- and the shocking thing was that he was a pastor too!

My favourite teacher would have to be one of my high school maths teachers- I really sucked at maths and even though I tried really hard, I still failed every test. She told me that she hated seeing me work harder than the students that didn't study and passed, so she would just pass me. She knew that I got really depressed about my marks, so sometimes she would even let me skip tests, or she wouldn't give me my marks back if I failed too badly enough that she couldn't give me extra marks. Best teacher EVER!

Unknown said...

Hi hun,

Sorry to hear you're not doing so well - please send me your address so I can get some love out to you.

And as for the 'you're stupid' comment, it wasn't said in any malicious or mean way, so I'm fairly certain it was reverse psychology!