flickr photo shared by mrkrndvs under a Creative Commons ( BY-SA ) license

With Rhizo15 in full swing, I have been reflecting a lot about my own education and the place of the teachers in my growth and development. By focusing on subjectives and the myth of content, people and interaction seem to be all that remain? By chance, George Couros put out the question as to who are the teachers who impacted you? So with my fractured memories, here is a broken list of teachers whose acts still have an impact on me:

  • Mrs Duncan – Bringing her guitar in and playing music on Fridays. Didn’t last too long, as not many liked Crocodile Rock. (Did she play anything else, can’t remember.) However, it planted a seed, not for the music of Elton John, but for music in general.
  • Mr. Cowell – Demonstrating that teachers truly can have a life outside of education and have a sense of humour at the same time. Although I think much of it was lost on us at the time.
  • Mr. Fitzgerald – Believing in his subject so much that he came and spruiked it to every class. I didn’t sign up, but I still remember his passion.
  • Ms. Skiadopoulos – Loving books so much, even if we didn’t. Had no idea who Jane Austen was when I started High School, but was grateful for the seed that led me doing a whole semester of Austen at university.
  • Mr Harris – Demonstrating that you don’t have to love something to teach it. He used U2’s Zoo TV Concert to unpack performance in music. When challenged about the band, said he actually didn’t like them, but that it fitted the task.
  • Mr. Trsek – Providing support and advice above and beyond. When unsure about what I should do, he helped guide my selections.
  • Craig Horton – Doing the little things to support the transition from secondary school to university. I still have his A-Z Guide somewhere. In those first few months, it was a my survival guide.
  • Sue Martin, John Wiltshire (and the whole English faculty at Latrobe, really) – Always willing to discuss my plethora of questions beyond class. Even if in hindsight my ideas seemed a little naive and often ill-thought out.
  • John Whitehorse – Approaching the teaching of History with such openness and enthusiasm. The honest insight which he provided went beyond anything else that was provided in my Diploma of Education.

When I look back over these people and what they did for me, the one thing that stands out is that they helped me care. Maybe it was patience, a little persistence, their honesty, strength of relationship, that they cared? Not sure how this fits with appreciation focused on platforms Linkedin or how it can be measured. What matters though is that they had an impact on the learner that I am today. So, what about you? Who had an impact on you?

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The Impact of My Teachers by Aaron Davis is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

4 thoughts on “The Impact of My Teachers

    • It is a weird one Kevin. I am reminded of a post last year from Keith Hamon discussing ‘influences’ and how we can never capture all of our ideas ( Why is it that I remember Mr. Fitz disrupting my class or guitar on a Friday with Mrs. Duncan. I know these people did so much more, but those are the stories that remain. Rhizomatic? Maybe? However, I wonder if the real Rhizomatic stories are all the rest, those not quite complete. Not sure. What I am sure about is that ‘impact’ is always much more complicated than we would like to believe and certainly more than a few numbers on a page.

  1. Stories always linger, if they are worth saving. Some get lost and then found, too. Your post reminded me of Mrs. Pontecorvo, my first music teacher in fourth grade. I play music today because of the love she showed me then … By the way, did you know there is a comic strip called Mr. Fitz?

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