I have a problem with a teacher my oldest had in primary school. But a good problem.
To this day, every time I see the two of them in the same room, my oldest bounces up and down with delight. And the pair of them clap their hands and chatter like a pair of, well, very happy kids. The teacher usually smiles and says “she’s always hopping!”.
I find it genuinely moving to see and always walk away in awe of the heart and dedication that must be behind that kind of trust and generosity of spirit. The problem being that I’m always too reserved to say a huge thanks.
We all have teachers we remember clearly from many years ago. But nothing is so stark a reminder that teachers have a hand on the future, and lifelong memories, of your child than seeing a scene like the one I described.
Then there’s another person who taught my daughter: she proudly calls him The Messer – a title normally reserved for myself and my dad for our habit of acting like kids ourselves – as she comes home with stories of jokes and magic tricks.
And my youngest: I remember sitting her on my knee for lots of hugs when a favourite teacher was moving to a new school.
It makes me think back to a Primary Seven teacher from my day of BBC computers and handout sheets in purple Parma Violet ink. Over 30 years ago and I can still remember the passion and obvious love for his calling as he went off-curriculum on long but completely engaging talks about everything from religion and World War Two to personal hygiene, getting us to take turns story or joke-telling along the way.
But there’s something I’ve never been able to tell that teacher who makes makes my oldest bounce with joy.
Why does she hop? She hops because of you. And because of your colleagues. And she loves school because the people there love to teach.