Happy International Start A Thread Day!
We had a thread about experiences at school a few weeks ago and I was saddened and horrified by all of the terrible stories of bullying and abusive teachers.
Anyway, I wondered if there was any mileage in a thread for recounting any positive experiences? Not in any way wanting to diminish or overlook the abuse that was shared, just wanted to see if anyone had anything positive to share. Most DiS teachers, I imagine will be breaking up for Christmas today so this could be a little present for the DiS teacher community.
Could be deep and profound chats which set you up on your vocation or maybe just the art teacher who let you hang out in the the art room at lunch when you were supposed to be freezing out on the playground. Whatever you like, really.
One of my English teachers in secondary school was amazing. The classic just finished training teacher who’s a bit cool and has a dry sense of humour and really sees your potential. She’s almost certainly the reason I really tried in English even in my school apathy years and I was thrilled when she messaged me to say she’d seen me on TV.
A happiest secondary school memory was in sixth form when some of the approachable cool kids in my English class were doing group work and were dicking around by using people in our hear group’s surnames as nouns/adjectives and doing it in the form of a question. (for example, Cressida Dick = Is Cressida a Dick?) They were doing this for nearly an hour and I was crying with laughter across the room because it was so absurd and became increasingly tenuous but listening to cool people having the same kind of ridiculous conversations that I had with my friends was really enjoyable and affirming, and they were having such a good time doing it too.
I really enjoyed primary school as a place of learning. gamified learning was awesome and really motivated me. Despite being bullied a lot at points I really fondly remember a lot of my time at primary, like when Jack W read out an absurd and rude story from his homework about poo and I was laughing so hysterically that the rest of the class was in stitches not because of the story but because of my reaction to it. That was really cool. And when I finally made up with the girls in my class I loved playing Buffy top trumps every lunch time even though I’d never seen it.
I won a writing competition in year 9 which I was proud of because I had a (completely one sided) rivalry with a very clever boy who outstripped me in every subject except English. Anyway I beat his ass and got a giant Cadbury dairy milk as a prize (the story was an atmospheric horror about a charge and their murderous babysitter). Tbh I don’t have many good school memories so the fact that this one stands out says it all really
Lots of nice sixth form memories though, the girls from then form my primary friendship group now, it was a very happy and refreshing end to my largely friendless and turbulent schooling (I went to three primary schools because we moved twice and was bullied throughout high school)
My Media Studies teacher was a fucking legend and a hugely positive impact on my life. Unlocked something in me that I didn’t know was there when it came to “creativity” and then spent a lot of his downtime helping me out with side-projects or letting me use his room/equipment when he would normally have gone home/to lunch or whatever. Combined that with a really good understanding of how I approached actual working as well, basically knowing I’d get it done eventually so why bother now but, whereas that approach would lead to me being a tad disruptive in other lessons, he treated me like a grown up and spoke to me in a way that made me productive rather than a pain in the arse.
Loved the guy, went back to visit him a few years after I’d finished, would love to do so again.
remember my english teacher saying I was good at english and should think about doing it at college for A-level. should’ve listened to her in retrospect
Thanks everyone, these are great!
my form tutor caught me smoking on the way to school as he was walking the other way and instead of getting me in trouble he just rolled his eyes and said something like “oh, very cool” and kept walking. Liked that guy, was funny.
Had quite a few gooduns tbh. One english teacher who I was a bit in love with that got me reading wuthering heights coz i was a goff and she said i’d like it. And right she was.
Had a lovely music teacher who would play us kate bush and jeff buckley. His wife had died suddenly and he’d injured his hand and couldnt play piano after that quite a tragic figure really.
Studied Politics at sixth form and my teacher was a huge inspiration. Massive socialist, encouraged a very discursive and debate style of learning about different things, and was just genuinely really sound. Was studying during the 2008 Presidential Election and primaries, probably the most interested I’ve ever been in learning.
Wrote me a really nice report at the end of my first year encouraging me to do politics at uni, which I hadn’t even considered before then, and then bumped my predicted grade up when I said I was applying for Politics at Sheffield to help me get in Bumped into him in a beer garden during one of my summers between uni years and he was really pleased I was studying Politics (and told me to do everything I could to “get that tosser Clegg out”) Legend.
One of my English teachers read out a story I’d written as an example to the rest of the class once, which has stuck with me ever since. The brief had just been “write something about a character who has been falsely accused” - and mine was just a stream-of-consciousness thing about someone in prison not sure why he’s there, but wishing he could be at home (where it doesn’t smell of piss) and watching The Simpsons on BBC2.
History teachers were always encouraging of my drawing weird cartoons in class. Like they did sort of help me to keep historical figures fresh in my mind (Pinky and Brienne helped me remember Étienne Charles de Loménie de Brienne, for example) - though I’m surprised the irrelevant forays into absurdity (John Snow, who helped to fight cholera in 19th Century London was not a samurai with magical powers) didn’t rankle them a bit
I was lucky to have a pretty great school experience though nothing particular stands out. Apart from the time our a-level English teacher said the word Cunt out loud and we were all scandalised. That’s probably representative of how easy we had it.
I was a teacher for a couple of years and my first full time job I picked up a bottom set year 11 class of boys, which would usually induce dread. But they were the loveliest bunch ever. A nightmare to drag through their coursework and exams but as a group they were just the sweetest. Could not take anything seriously, never gave me a hard time (I’m looking at you, second set year 10, you horrible lot). Proper group of cool characters. A year or so later after they’d left school I was shopping in the next town over and someone came up behind me and gave me a huge hug, it was one of my lovely year 11s. I didn’t stick with teaching but I’m glad to have some nice memories as I really hated the job at times.
My form group were the other highlight. One lad had had the most horrendous life, social services involvement and so on. When I left he gave me a bottle of wine wrapped in tinfoil. It was the best present because he was so pleased he’d managed to get me something. I’d love to know where they all ended up, they’d all be in their 30s now
My friendship group used their relatively high academic achievement as a cover for being quite badly behaved and getting away with it. We had a maths teacher who called us out on our bullshit. For example, one night we went to a party at our trendy music teacher’s house and had too much of his home brew, meaning we missed our 9:00 maths lesson the next morning.
The maths teacher saw us later that day and said “Why weren’t you in my lesson this morning lads? At Mr Sheldon’s party last night I hear. If you can’t take your ale, DON’T DRINK IT!”
Mrs Coan in Y2 used to do sign language and Spanish with us when we had a bit of spare time. This was not on our curriculum or anything and I absolutely loved it and remember everything she taught us to this day. Suppose its a shame really to have been given a taste of something that I took to so well and then it wasn’t an option again the rest of my school life but it very enjoyable at the time and I recognised she was going rogue and respected her lots (the other give away for going rogue was her picking up her national curriculum book and chucking it in the bin as soon as she got it out of the envelope).
Not a school memory but I had a youth leader like this. I had been a massive disruption at Sunday school for several years because I’d been there 51 Sundays a year for five years so had done the same stories and pointless arts and crafts over and over again and was super bored, but also had been shut down repeatedly for asking questions about Biblical/theological plot holes. So I’d eventually started just making as much of a nuisance of myself as I could and carried this into the teenage Sunday school group with Steve the youth leader and was a total arsehole for a year after joining.
However Steve was much more constructive when I asked questions (would make it clear he was just sharing his interpretation rather than acting like it was canon, would say when he didn’t know the answer, etc) and he would treat me like an adult in response to my childish behaviour, which eventually meant I simmered down and participated properly. Steve was such a positive influence on me and someone I have so much respect for.
I don’t believe in God but Steve’s interpretation of Christianity is easily the one I’m most comfortable with - he had a much more abstract concept of heaven/hell (the idea of a hell is just being further away from God) than anyone else I know. CN: religious chat / views / methods of practising faith My mum and one of my best mates have relatively progressive stances but when you get talking to them about heaven/hell it gets a bit If a core tenet of your faith is an omni-benevolent god then how could you possibly completely give up on anyone? I genuinely cannot believe any serious, progressive Christian could believe anything so contradictory. Steve had a much more humanist, consistent interpretation and while maybe a little wishy washy it felt like something warm that I could understand the appeal of, without being totally new-age - I find the more hippy, modern, born-again evangelist vibe extremely uncomfortable to be around for various reasons.
oh my god I love this.
I once drew a cartoon of my chemistry teacher at the bottom of my Chemistry mock GCSE paper and put the note ‘Does this get me extra marks?’. he wrote ‘no’ next to it
Making death metal songs and screaming the science teacher’s name as the practice room was next to the science lab until he would come out and tell us off.
Aww in year 8/9 me and my best mates all came up with codenames for our teachers and used to come up with the most horrific and explicit headcanon. They were all having group sex all the time apart from Nert (Mr Butler, maths teacher), and Boris and Betty were the ringleaders of the teacher sex club.
We were generally obsessed with Nert. He was such an odd man. On ‘Jeans for Genes’ day where everyone wore jeans into school he wore his jeans with his suit. He used to do this very aggressive bend to look over people’s work which we called the Butler Bend, we used to pretend to be tornadoes when he was turned towards the whiteboard and when he turned round we would stop. One time my friend fell off her chair and he said completely deadpan “X, you appear to have fallen off your chair.” I once nearly had to give him a rude maths poem I had written about him because he told me to bring the notes I was passing to him, but luckily I had a decoy bit of paper. He gave me a detention for having a ruler fight with my friend another time… In a maths lesson in the IT room we joked that N as his initial stood for Naked and googled Naked Butler without thinking about it. May have been the lesson where Kirsty and Bea told me about merkins
Dunno why I struggled in maths tbh. Hated school but it was funny sometimes
In infant 1 I invited my teacher Mrs Prescott to my party and she came
My English teachers were all amazing. Some music teachers super cool too. Few massive arseholes but generally most of my teachers were pretty sound.