There were two teachers who influenced me when I was at school. During my first year at High School, half way through the year, the art teacher made an aside that stayed with me. She made the comment that my work reminded her of her own when she was my age. It was just the one comment, but it remained with me, even all these years later. Her encouragement could have partly been responsible for me going to art school, when I left High School.
The second teacher whom I admired was Deputy Principal, or Deputy Head, as we knew her then, as well as being House Mistress. Miss Street was of the old school, very strict, proper and an English teacher. I wasn’t a scholar, and she apparently was going to take me under her wing, and give me some extra help. She had written in her diary that she was going to seek me out that fateful Tuesday afternoon, but as I had gone into town on a shopping expedition, I missed out.
That night Miss Street died in the bath, in the boarding house. It wasn’t until later I was informed of her diary entry. I felt devastated. Knowing she had faith in me gave me courage, and may have been the reason for me returning to university in my forties and becoming a teacher.
Miss Street was one of the many women left single after WW1. Her fiancé was killed in the war. So instead of her having her own family she passed on her love of Literature to most of her students.
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? Michelle W.