What Gets Me Up In The Morning
March 30, 2016
What Gets Me Up In The Morning.
By James Glasse. © 2016
For me, teaching is as much a spiritual journey as anything else. Teaching contributes more to our society than any other profession. Great teachers are caring adults who believe in the next generation and bring out the best in their students. They know that learning is a natural process that develops spontaneously and that their hugely privileged role is to act as a catalyst, enabling their pupils to become free independent thinkers embarking on a lifelong voyage of discovery. When I look back to the great teachers in my own life I remember courageous, kind, honest, compassionate individuals all of whom saw something in me and who helped to light that spark. I earnestly hope that I will have left a similar legacy.
I guess that all teachers have their Eureka moments. One of my most profound was when one of my pupils – Katie (not her real name), a profoundly dyslexic child in year five, stood up at a creative writing conference and asked if she could perform her poem in front of an audience of some fifteen hundred people. As her English teacher, I have to confess to a frisson of nerves as English did not come easily to her. There were parents and children from at least ten schools in the crowded auditorium. Yet I need not have doubted her as Katie’s impassioned rendition of her own highly original and beautiful poem met with a standing ovation.
As I looked forward thirty years through the crystal ball of my imagination I saw her as a fearless, wise, compassionate woman and a natural leader – the future Chief Executive of a FTSE 100 company? The first female Archbishop of Canterbury? A happily married mother of three just having completed her third book? The fact that I can have had anything to do with helping her or my other pupils to become who they really are is what gets me up in the morning. That of course and knowing that they know how to use an apostrophe correctly!
Resources others found helpful
A maths past exam from 2008 for Notting Hill and Ealing School, part of the London Independent Girls' School Consortium
Great mental calculation exercise for all age and it will be fun.