“Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.”
– Attributed to Zig Ziglar
The theme for day five of the gratitude challenge is a teacher, presumably one that has strong positive memories associated with them, and for me there is are two clear standouts, Mr Davies, my Year Five teacher and Mr Hawkins, my Year Six teacher. Mr Davies was a quiet man, according to my memories, yet he dominated that room and pushed each of us to challenge our supposed limits. He was the teacher who saw that I had a passion for, at the time, Ancient Egypt, and he allowed me to pursue that, doing copious amounts of research, which at that point meant rewriting the encyclopedia entries on the various Pharaohs and other cultural information about the subject, into the sole computer in the class.
He was a teacher that I wish I had been more appreciative of at the time, and told him how appreciative I was. I do not actually recall any particular skills or concepts that I learned, that were explicitly taught, other than to be sure to read everything before doing anything. But I do remember that he allowed us to play Where in the World is Carmen Sandiago as a class, challenging us to keep records of what we learned and piece all the evidence together, that he encouraged us to pursue our interests, that he was able to get me onto the Year Five excursion to Point Wolstoncroft when my family, at that point, was not able to afford it, that he encouraged me to read books that challenged me.
Mr Hawkins on the other hand was a big man, physically (in my memories at least), and had a big voice to match it. He ran the classroom with strength and achieved similar results and made us all feel as if he cared about what was going on, challenging us to try new things, to persevere and to aim for the stars.
Those two teachers are a strong part of the reason of why I wanted to enter the teaching profession, and my memories of their teaching styles, though quite different, plays a role in how I aim to be as a teacher, something which is represented explicitly in my Teaching Philosophy. I wish I had told them both at the time how much I appreciated their efforts on my behalf, and how I grateful I was, and am, for the influence on my life.