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This is a question Awesome teachers

Teachers have been getting a right kicking recently and it's not fair. So, let's hear it for the teachers who've inspired you, made you laugh, or helped you to make massive explosions in the chemistry lab. (Thanks to Godwin's Lawyer for the suggestion)

(, Thu 17 Mar 2011, 11:18)
Pages: Popular, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

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Many of them
Throughout my school career I've been lucky enough to have been taught by a great number of incredible people -- but I don't think any of them would disagree with my nomination of the deputy head of the school as leading the bunch.

He was a man of six feet in all dimensions, in the strictly athletic sense. This enormous innate strength was something that he would use frequently to great effect. He once chased an youthful intruder to the school around most of the playing fields and then down the 800m drive at a time when he must have been in the region of 60, and whilst wearing a suit; sadly he didn't catch them, but I suspect the end result would have been spectacular if he was successful.

As part of a physics experiment he once pulled a car up the school drive. Another teacher goaded him with the statement "if you were twenty years younger, you'd be doing that with your teeth". Cue said teacher placing rope in mouth, and continuing.

He was once observed helping a parent in distress: cars had parked close in front and behind her, blocking her in her parking space. He walked over, lifted up the rear of the car in front, and swung it round to the side to ensure her exit.

I've also had the tale recounted of the time another teacher burst into his classroom brandishing a revolver, and emptied six shots into his torso. He span round, and dropped to the floor, leaving twenty shocked teenage boys in terror... Until he jumped up, and chased the starting-pistol wielding teacher down the corridor.

This is all without even mentioning his incredible mental strength, integrity, and dedication to his job. He was/is an incredible character and it was an absolute privilege to have been at his school.
(, Thu 17 Mar 2011, 16:26, 1 reply)
Miss Gunstone... Home Economics teacher.
Miss Gunstone was a hottie at L*****n C*****'s H******l School.

I don't know why she only wore black underwear underneath her white coat to teach us, but she did... and a previously insufferable, riotous group of pubescent boys stopped fucking about in her Home Economics class and paid serious attention to the lesson.

We daren't stand-up to go to break when the lesson was over.

Truly inspiring.
(, Thu 17 Mar 2011, 16:24, 5 replies)
Mr C and the swamp donkeys
I've been lurking on here for far far far too many years so its about time i popped my QOTW cherry *pop*

In high school we had a fairly mundane science teacher named Mr C. Brown cordoroy trousers,grey hair, glasses, you know the sort.

Great pleasue was taken by the entire class in mentally torturing him (monotonous humming passed around the class to make him go mad, chalk rubbed along the edge of his desk so he'd get a white crotch- the usual genius teenage torture).

I can't recall how this particular topic came up one day in class but it turned out he was a massive radiohead fan (this is back in the mid 90's hey day, when we were all about 15 or so) and loved going to gigs of any sort. He said that if enough of us wanted to go to a particular gig, and provided we got parental consent etc he'd book tickets and take us there and back in the school minibus.
He took a group of the lads in the class to see the Prodigy and when the girls of the class wanted to go and see Space in Sheffield he gladly obliged as his own teenage daughters wanted to go too.

The day came round and a dozen of us piled into the school minibus, his wife and daughters already sat in there. In our imaginations we expected his girls to be mini female versions of himself- geeky and a bit boring. They weren't. They were the most horrendous swamp donkey fat slags you've ever seen. The entire journey his wife and daughters shrieked, belittled and critisised him which i thought was appauling in front of his students.

When we reached the gig, the wife and daughters dissapeared off to "av a fag" leaving us to boogie the night away, Mr C stood patiently at the back nodding his head along with the music.

He wasn't the most amazing teacher but after that most of us had a new found respect for Mr C, he must have had a bit of a crap life at home and despite most of the kids in his class being swines, he'd still try and be as nice as possible.

The moral of this? I guess even the average teachers can still be a bit awesome in their own way.

Sorry for the length- its been building for a long time!
(, Thu 17 Mar 2011, 16:18, 1 reply)
When I was at school, it is difficult to put into words how relentlessly crap I was at maths. I did not know my times tables, aside from the one, two, five and ten. I could not do division at all. Basically, if you look up maths spacktard in the dictionary.. well, you won't find it, it's not there. But if it were, it'd have my name.

However, in year 8, I ended up with a teacher who shall be named Mr. B. Now, Mr. B was a wonderful teacher. His lessons would essentially be a mix of witty banter and mathematical experimentation. He not only gave me confidence, but helped me find facets of maths that weren't utter tedium to me. He inspired a modicum of competence in me. I still didn't enjoy maths that much, nor was I very good at it, but thanks to him, I managed to pull a decent grade in GCSE maths. Something I would never have been able to do without his support.

Made it all the more shocking when he was sacked a year after I left school for trying to get his end away with a fifteen year old student. But, that's life, I guess.
(, Thu 17 Mar 2011, 16:16, Reply)
Okay, I'll tell you about an amazing teacher.
I know this one personally. She didn't teach me at school; I was one of her friends as she worked hard on her exams, researched different education strategies, studied basics in all subjects and went beyond in her specialisation. I watched her apply for training, volunteer to work at local schools and laugh and cry over the abilities of the kids there. I listened to her tell me about the kids she was teaching- not the brightest, not the most motivated, but incredible kids. And I saw her find people she really wanted to teach- people who she could connect with. People with severe learning disabilities.

Last year, she started working with a girl who cannot vocally communicate at all, and is wheelchair bound. My friend played the piano to her, with the girl sitting next to her. After a month of dedicated work, talking to her and encouraging her, the girl put her hand on the piano and played one note. After another few weeks, the girl would take her turn- not playing tunes, but simply using the piano to make sounds. She also started interacting after a few more weeks, putting her hand over the keys when she didn't like what my friend was playing, and smiling when she did.

I find this teacher truly inspirational.

I also find it difficult to tell this story. After working so hard, my friend was rejected from any PGCE courses that would let her train for professional work in the field. The courses look for older people, with their own professional experience, and naturally the funding for any course is low at the moment. She can't qualify, and the fact that she's been so rejected has utterly disheartened her.

The best teacher I know will never qualify.

I'd be less depressed by this if I thought this was a unique case, but I know it's happening to so, so many people at the moment.

...also, please don't reply offering advice; I think I've made this sound much more simplistic than it is, and she really has tried everything.
(, Thu 17 Mar 2011, 16:13, 3 replies)
Doing History and Politics A Level
I went to a "bog Standard' Comprehensive". In fact, it was made a failing school the year I left, so it was much worse than bog-standard.

It was financially inefficient to teach some A level subjects and the school had to stop offering them. Despite this, the History Department (three middle aged ladies), insisted on carrying on teaching the courses for the 4-5 people per Year who wanted to take them. I did both History and Politics, so I saw them a lot.

Mrs C was the Head of Department and taught both History and Politics. She was an old Communist whose husband was banned from entering America due to his political activities in the Sixties. Her lessons were less like rote learning, and much more like political debate. She'd happily pick apart our arguments and let the lessons run over into break times so we wouldn't cut conversations short. Despite her dogmatic belief in the inevitability of Proletarian revolution, she never browbeat any of us, and would always treat us with patience and respect. When we finished A-levels, she took us round her house for a nice meal and her husband and her got us quite comprehensively drunk on the finest vodka he'd brought back from his travels.

Mrs N was the main teacher for Politics. She had done some fairly serious post-grad study, and God knows why she was happy to spend her career dealing with snotty teenagers like us. She was equally passionate as Mrs C about tutoring us in the ways of righteousness (i.e., being a Leftie). Again, though, she did this through long conversations and patience, rather than telling us we were wrong. She'd quiz us on current events. Challenge us on what we'd do if we were an MP. Always make us justify our opinions rather than just accepting what we were told. The school didn't have any up to date Politics text books, so she bought them, and gave us to them to take home so we'd read them properly (I still have a few).

Mrs S was the second History teacher. She had a high opinion of her subject and taught us as if we were University students rather than Sixth Formers. When we were interested in a subject, she'd encourage us to go off and read more. On bits of the syllabus we didn't like, she'd teach us what we needed to do well in the exam, then let us spend more time on other things. It was exhilarating for kids used to being sat in a room with 30 other kids, so we didn't take advantage - we studied lots.

In a school in one of the poorest Education Authorities in Britain, which was (as I said before) declared a failing school by OFSTED, the History and Politics A Level students used to get A grade after A grade, year after year. There were kids who'd chosen the subjects not really giving a shit about them, and ended up studying hard and going on to read them at University. They were fantastic individuals with a genuine passion for their subjects and their charges, and they did it all in difficult circumstances. I always remember them when people moan about how how terrible Comprehensive Schools are...
(, Thu 17 Mar 2011, 15:49, 3 replies)
The Octopus.
I only took one science at GCSE: physics. I ended up in the group taught by BC, a genuinely lovely old man on the final lap towards retirement.

He had a thing about tickertape timers, and was pretty much oblivious to most of the syllabus, but he was only too keen to tell The Octopus Story.

The Octopus Story was a very long, very involved shaggy-dog tale involving an octopus (predictably enough) and a set of bagpipes that he promised to tell us one day early in the course. How long, and how involved was it? Well, it took him most of the next 18 months to recount it. He'd give us a few minutes at the end of class if we behaved; and the better his mood, the more of the lesson he'd devote to The Octopus Story.

BC retired at Easter 1993, a couple of months before we were due to sit our GCSEs. His replacement was equally awesome, and looked a bit like Kryten. He'd helped write the exam we were about to sit, and was prepared to offer us oblique hints about what to revise.

Which was fortunate, really, because one of the first things he did when he met us was to produce a copy of the GCSE syllabus to see where we'd got.

Thanks to BC's obsession with tickertape timers and The Octopus Story, and with about 6 weeks to go, we'd covered about one third of what we should have.

You don't get education like that in the state sector.
(, Thu 17 Mar 2011, 15:45, 2 replies)
I had so many teachers of note when I was back in education, from the frankly appalling right up to the inspirational best. So that’s where I’ll start – with Mike. Mike was a proper English English teacher – he taught us the classics, modern literature and a hell of a lot about life. His favourite, rather unsurprisingly for a teacher nicknamed “The Bard” (it was after all the second half of his surname), was Shakespeare. He was one of the few people that I have ever met who can convince an entire class of 14/15 year olds about the merit of his plays, poetry and prose. Looking in at a class of lads who would, under most other people’s control, be throwing stuff around the class, talking loudly amongst themselves, physically abusing each other/themselves only to see them enraptured by a rather short, overweight, balding man in his early sixties explaining how Mark Anthony was using flattery and praise as an attack on Brutus et al, or how clever Shakespeare was being by switching to iambic pentameter from another form.

He taught us a lot too – I can genuinely thank him for sparking my interest in debate and politics, as well as developing my confidence in public speaking. He also taught me to answer a question simply and honestly, rather than bull-shitting an excuse. If you, honestly, told him that you didn’t have enough time then he would give you more. If you, honestly, told him that you didn’t understand the question posed but were to scared to ask him to clarify it, he would explain it to you. If you came up with a totally plausible but complete pile of horseshit story, he’d very nearly rip your throat out.

Although not the biggest of men, he was incredibly imposing. He had a voice that could move mountains and didn’t give way to anyone. One afternoon whilst tutoring my A-Level English Literature class whilst it was quite hot outside, he had left the door to our classroom open. Another (younger, irritating, “thinks-he’s-one-of-the-lads-but-actually-just-a-bit-of-a-dick” type) teacher’s voice was very audible. Cue Mike marching out of the class-room, into the other teacher’s and bellowing “WILL YOU PLEASE BE QUIET. YOUR VOICE IS ANNOYING ME” and storming out again. Thereafter, cue the sound of an entire class of 12 year olds pissing themselves laughing drifting down the corridors.

Mike was brilliant. He didn’t push me to do anything amazing, I don’t write literature, I’m not a Nobel Prize winning physicist, I don’t help under-privileged jelly-fish climb the social ladder to aquatic acceptance. I do however have a love of literature, I will devour books of all types, I will go to the theatre and the opera on a regular basis, I will write poetry (for myself) and, after having gotten to know him outside of school as well, I will drink gallons of vintage port whilst eating cheese.

And what happened to this bastion of the upper-middle class private school education system? He became a victim of office politics. He had some arguments about his style of teaching (and shouting) with the (new) Head Master. Because he wanted to work part-time (bearing in mind he had been a teacher for over forty years when he taught me) this was used as an excuse to see him shunted swiftly out of the door.

He’s still around, tutoring older persons who want to take an OU degree in their spare time, and catching up with some of his old students on Facebook. He was a legendary tutor, and he inspired generations of his students to love the written word.

Thanks Mike.
(, Thu 17 Mar 2011, 15:45, 1 reply)
Taylor Mali
Nothing to do with me, but this guy is pretty inspiring:


Taylor Mali, who used to be a teacher. Makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up every time I hear him recite it. Even though I have no interest whatsoever in becoming a teacher. Ho hum.
(, Thu 17 Mar 2011, 15:40, Reply)
The English teacher who (didn't) change my life
"Your work has a sense of pacing the likes of which I've never seen before. You clearly love the subject, even the dull bits, and you can banter well enough to keep up with a man four times your age in class. The English language, in whatever discipline you choose to follow, is your future."

"That's all very true."

*signs up for Physics, Chemistry, Maths, and German at A-Level*

Fucksocks. Physics is a wank degree. If you ever have to choose between 2 loves, and the lesser of them is the sensible one to go for, go for the utterly mental one that means more to you.

On the plus side, in mean time I met a (literally) mental teacher who convinced me that not everyone in the Physics department is a dusty old wanker. As a direct result of this man, I intend to go into teaching Physics myself.
(, Thu 17 Mar 2011, 15:32, 2 replies)
Not a single one of them...

(, Thu 17 Mar 2011, 15:22, 16 replies)
We had a teacher with a hearing aid.
We used to hum in class. He'd tap his hearing aid, and we'd stop for 30 seconds.
(, Thu 17 Mar 2011, 15:19, 3 replies)
In eleven years of school, I learnt exactly two things.
1. If you don't be quiet you'll be staying back at twenty to four.
2. If you don't understand something, just write it down anyway and don't ask for an explanation; that makes the teacher really mad because it undermines their authority (apparently).

My teachers were awesome.
(, Thu 17 Mar 2011, 15:11, 3 replies)
Our science lab had a lot of books in it. Big, thick books with many equations and molecular diagrams. Books you'd need a sat nav to find your way through.

To my knowledge, in the 4 years I was at that school no-one ever read those books. They were there for the sole purpose of weighing down the lid of the snake tank. They didn't do their job well, and the snake would escape once a month or so. (This might be due to bored students wanting to cause a distraction...)

The snake, a california king snake, was lovely, really friendly, and we were all so used to her randomly being on the floor or crawling along the radiators that we didn't pay it any mind.

On one occasion, however, she did cause a bit of a sensation. This was the day when our school was being visited by the local MP, Harry Hurricane. Oh, and a large percentage of the local press.

Unknown to us, Harry was scared of snakes. He posed with each class for a photo, and decided to linger in the science department with the skeleton, wall displays and other photogenic scenery. We were bored by this point, and when we saw the snake casually weaving its way through the crowd we watched with interest, but no-one did anything too obvious.

Posing for the photo...

And the snake crawls across Harry's foot.

The man SHRIEKED and literally jumped in the air, sending the frightened snake running, err... sliding for the hills. He turns to the teachers and demands to know why the snake is roaming free- those poor children, how frightening! What a risk! (Those poor children are laughing like loons, making him less happy, the teachers are trying to hide their amusement with about the same amount of success.)

...best part? The photograph appearing in the local paper a few days later, with Harry the amazing hopping MP screaming in the middle of a group of normal-looking kids, the snake just out of shot...
(, Thu 17 Mar 2011, 15:07, 2 replies)
Potassium + Water
We had a substitute/trainee teacher for one of our lessons where we learned about chemical reactions. The other teachers let him get on with it, watching with fatalistic amusement from the back of the room....

He set up the stuff properly...the bowl of water, the protective screen, and his good self with the goggles. The fascinated students sit behind the screen watching as, with great drama, he drops a tiny piece of potassium in the water.


Absolustely nothing. Students start laughing. Teacher looks a little put out, and disappears into the cupboard. He returns with a massive chunk of the stuff and puts it in the water where it ...



The screen cracks, and the ceiling has cracks radiating across from the bits of bowl embedded in it. There's water everywhere, including over the soaked and frazzled looking teacher. The screams from the more nervous kids are made hilarious by the fact that the entire science department is standing at the back of the room, crying with laughter, at this sub teacher who stands, tongs still outreached...

Probably one of many explosion stories this week.
(, Thu 17 Mar 2011, 14:45, 3 replies)
Mr Walker...
...was a biology supply tutor from Jamaica, with a heavy accent and gold thingy between his front two teeth.

Got immediate respect from the class after writing 'Tings to do' on the whiteboard and using a big wok of chips as an analogy

Inspiring bloke
(, Thu 17 Mar 2011, 14:44, Reply)
We used to have an RE teacher who was a gossip
The first 20 minutes of the class was always dedicated to her getting the latest dirt, picking out an interesting story and then opening it to discussion- "What are the ethical implications of this?" Maybe a bit underhand, but it genuinely got everyone thinking and reasoning a lot more than just, "Jimmy and Ellie find a £10 note on the ground. What should they do?!"
(, Thu 17 Mar 2011, 14:37, 4 replies)
I taught that Dr Shambolic character a lesson by gazzing him.
He replied with his characteristic nasty trolling, so I published the gaz.

Needless to say I had the last laugh there.
(, Thu 17 Mar 2011, 14:33, 54 replies)
Close to the Christmas holidays
In reference to this post

Teachers Whisky was the reason three of us got utterly bollocked in school for drinking. The Teachers let us off because one kid got so drunk that he had lined the toilets with noxious vomit and shit himself (they knew his Dad was very violent so didn't inform him), gave him a uniform and tried to get him sober in time for the last bell.

The other kid kept his stomach down but was crying so hard they let him off, and when it came to me they were so surprised how apparently sober I seemed, they assumed it was the others influence on me and that I hadn't drunk very much of it, which luckily was true, I hated the taste. Not getting punished for that was a Godsend. We all got isolation for a few days though, but didn't tell our parents, easy sentence!

Thanks Guys, if only for stopping my mate coming in to school the next day with belt marks and beaten to mush again.

Now I'm sure I'll be added to Amorous Badger's QOTW 'Drug Bores' list again but I don't care. YOU WEREN'T THERE MAN!
(, Thu 17 Mar 2011, 14:30, 2 replies)
Mrs Lewis, English.
I always found English to be one of the more boring lessons; poetry-appreciation, Shakespeare and, worst of all, Jane fecking Austen. I mean, really - what do I care if a bunch of neurotic Victorian bints get all moist at the thought of taking tea in Mr. Bingley's gazebo? I'm fourteen for goodness sake. I like football, Neighbours, Knightmare, Guns N Roses and, in a very shy and not really-understanding-why sort of way, girls. Oh Mrs. Bennet's just said something witty and Victorian, whoop-de-fucking-doo.

During the study of said author my work must have been markedly more disinterested than usual as I was asked to stay behind after class for a chat. Mrs Lewis was one of those try-to-be cool "I'm not your instructor, I'm your friend" type teachers; early 20's and yet to be worn down by the drudgery of teaching teenagers day-in, day-out.

She spoke candidly and said my work wasn't just bad, it was awful. My basic grammar and understanding were fine but my attention to detail was woeful. I'd get characters' names wrong in essays and so forth. With more than just a touch of fear I explained it was, frankly, because I had no interest whatsoever in the characters, story, setting or any of the dreary goings-on that actually very rarely went on.

She paused and there was that awful "oh-no" second where I started picturing detentions and letters home.

"Well what sort of books do you like?" was her surprising response. Honesty seemed to be working so far so I just let the nerdiness flow. "Horror, mainly. You know, Stephen King and that? I quite like Clive Barker too".

Again, I was just expecting derision. Instead, she told me that, for my next composition, why didn't I consider writing in a similar style to the authors I admired? The bell went and I wandered off to my next lesson, pondering what she'd said.

Long story short, my next essay was titled Pride And Pestilence. I'd turned Mr. Darcy into a raging, drunken Jack Torrence figure. He'd get roaringly drunk and go out murdering prostitutes. He got the Bennett girls hooked on opium and eventually co-erced them into murdering their own mother. I thoroughly enjoyed writing it but, given the subject matter, was somewhat trepidatious about handing it in. I let a friend read it first. His response of "Dude, that's awesome but you'll get expelled" didn't help. I had no choice really though. It was either hand it in or say I'd not done my homework.

When homework was handed back it was always in reverse order with everyone's marks read aloud. The D's first, then the C minuses etc. I was a standard C usually.

Mine came last.

With an A+.

With distinction.

She read it to the class.

I've never seen such captivated 14 year olds.

She asked to keep it to show to a few other people.

One of those, with my permission, put it forward to a short-story competiton.

It won.

And was included in a monthly short story magazine.

I went from disinterested teen to published author within a few weeks.

I now work as a writer.

So thank you Mrs Lewis, I can't remember if I ever said it at the time, but that ten-minute chat changed everything. If I were to meet you now I'd say what I was too afraid to say back then.

"Miss, you have the most awesome tits I have ever seen".
(, Thu 17 Mar 2011, 14:26, 17 replies)
I can't believe nobody's even mentioned Jesus yet!
Truly inspirational - being able to get completely nailed and still come back for more.
(, Thu 17 Mar 2011, 14:09, 7 replies)
Mr."Tube" Trav!
Well actually, there were a few of them at least worth a mention...

Mr. Fox, the Geography teacher who would leap from table to table, chucking things at the blackboard whilst grinning manically to demonstrate the concept of "erosion"

Mr. Goninan, The Chemistry teacher who once put Peter Symonds in the fumigating cupboard for an entire lesson after he puffed out one particularly noxious arse biscuit...

But the best of the best, (and he had a reet Yorkshire accent to go with his personality as well) was Our Physics teacher Mr. Travis, or- Mr "Tube" Trav - as he liked to be known (surfing name.)

The man once walked into a lesson dressed half as a woman and half as a man (complete with half a face full of lipstick and eye shadow) and stood in the middle of a small portable sand pit one trouserd leg complete with flat shoe and one bony hairy bare leg sticking out of a skirt and balancing in a high heel Exclaimed: “ee by gum children!-Today we´re going to learn all about surface area.”

(, Thu 17 Mar 2011, 14:06, 1 reply)
Turn the other cheek and I'll nick your stereo.
I had an RS/RE teacher at school who was also Head of Lower School, nicknamed Benny because of his resemblance to Benny from Crossroads, I should point out that I joined the school in 1999 when nobody of my age knew who Benny was and since looking up the character he looked completely unlike him. I digress.

He was such a top bloke, never unnecessarily shouty or preachy despite being a very devout Christian. He came in one morning with a bit of a skip in his step, for most other people this would be a sure sign of some lady action the night before, but not Benny, it was more likely a religious conversion.

He told us that a 'friend' of his had been granted parole and was coming to stay with him. We were a little confused by the excitement over harbouring category C prisoners but we shared in his joy and asked more questions about how he knew him.

Turns out their friendship started when the young delinquent robbed his house a few years prior. Strange start to any relationship I'm sure you'd agree. Thing is, it wasn't til the second time he'd robbed him when he shopped him to the police and he'd gone down for it (he had previous).

Benny was genuinely sure, having visited him 3 or 4 times, that he was determined to 'go straight' this time, and Benny was only too keen to help him on that path.

Needless to say 2 days later he came in looking a bit distracted, after being pushed he admitted to us that his 'friend' had stolen from him again, this time more than ever before, most of the electrical equipment was cleared out.

Still Benny was adamant he'd done the right thing, each and every time, and we knew full well he'd be the first to offer his house again next time he was due out. Patience of a saint and a truly remarkable Ned Flanders-esque man.
(, Thu 17 Mar 2011, 14:02, Reply)
Music Teacher
My clarinet teacher was a near-retirement, lovely chap who had a few highlights:

-His first instrument was the harp. He named none of his instruments but this harp. The reason? "You should always know a lady's name before you put your arms around her."

-Teaching people to project- he told my friend and I to bring our teddies to the next lesson, and "don't pretend you don't own one." We did, and were told to play TO THE TEDDY! And do it when we practice. If not, "The teddies will tell me, and you'll be in trouble." ... this was when we were 15.

-Proper playing posture- I used to step around a bit while playing. He told me to stop politely, then in annoyance, and then took a flying leap onto my feet to pin them to the ground. He said either my performance or my feet could suffer.

- If we brought any music into the lesson he would play it. Seeing someone sight-read "One Winged Angel" on a clarinet was amazing.

- He once told me that he had to fix a trumpet because someone had put it into a dishwasher. The way he said it, this was the most horrible crime ever conceived.

He retired 5 years ago... a genuine loss to instrument teaching, I feel.
(, Thu 17 Mar 2011, 13:46, 12 replies)
Outside of a dog a book is mans best friend....
My parents used to take me to the library when I was a nipper. I dutifully got out some books that would sit in my bedroom unopened until they were due back.


Mr Salisbury he was our teacher in the last year of junior school. He was new to the school and we were the first to get him. In the hour period just before lunch he stopped the class

"listen up everyone, it is my experience that you lot lose concentration about now and don't learn much and you are all generaly thinking about lunch. So I think a better way to spend our time is with a good book so I'll read to you"

Now being 11 or nearly 11 being read to seemed a little babyish but we let him off. He read us "the Silver Sword", "Danny Champion of the World", "Stig of the Dump" & The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar" (maybe more those are the ones I remember ..this was in 1980)

He did different voices and read with passion we were all captivated and I have never been without at least one book on the go ever since that year

Thank you Mr Salisbury I owe you ;)
(, Thu 17 Mar 2011, 13:44, 1 reply)
Extra curricular.
I was being taught, just because it wasn't at school and I've never met the man who taught me doesn't make it any less valuable to me, so I nominate Mr Del Close. Everything I have learnt in recent years about being open minded, generous, supportive, attantive, giving and confident without a beer in my hand I owe to the lessons I have learnt through the wonderful people I have met, studied under, played with and socialised with through taking up Improv.

And all that goes back pretty much to one man, the aforementioned insane manic depressive genius that is Del Close. I pretty much can sum up how I live my life these days in a few key lessons:

Yes, And...

Play to the top of your intelligence

Follow the fear

Learn to love failure

Have fun

It's not just for making good scenes, it's a life plan. And yes, that sounds culty and I sound overly worthy, but fuck it, it works for me. Oh, and he played a teacher in Ferris Beuller's Day Off, so there's that too.
(, Thu 17 Mar 2011, 13:36, 1 reply)
Too many to mention really.
I had a great time at school (when I caould be arsed to show up) and always tried to get a lot from whatever lesson I was in. Woodworking teacher caught me smoking one time, shouted 'YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG!!!' an proceeded to show me advanced smoke-ring techniques. During a fire practice.
My favourite teacher, though, was Mr B. He taught music (the only lesson I religously turned up to, if I ever missed a music lesson it was kind of like Frank Gallagher going missing on Giro day). He gave me tips on arranging, composing, playing, conducting...you name it.
The best thing I can remember is when the school swing band was picked to play in the Daily Telegraph Jazz Musician of the Year, meaning a trip down to London. Wahey! A bunch of 14-17 year olds, all good mates, down in the big smoke for a weekend.
First night there, he got us all lost in Chinatown. Decent experience, condsidering we had all had a glass of wine or two at the restaurant we had gone to.
On the way back to the hotel, he collared me and said 'Look, General, I've had to put you in a room on your own, that OK?' Which was fucking fine by me. And the bottle of wine I'd brought. Unknown to me, he'd put the fit as fuck lead sax player in the room next door. By herself. And everyone else was on the floor below.

As a 15 year old that's pretty much awesome.
Next morning (after my first ever BJ and sexual experience) he collared me and said 'All relaxed for the big day then?' with a massive conspiratorial wink.
We went on to win an award and was asked to do loads of stuff after that. Unfortunately I've not seen the sax player since I left school but I wonder what she's up to now...
But as for the teacher, Mr. B: Awesome, inspirational and up for a beer at any time. What more do you want from a teacher?
(, Thu 17 Mar 2011, 13:30, Reply)
I have no way of proving or disproving this, but I grew up choosing to believe the rumour that...
...the first Stormtrooper to get shot in Star Wars was played by my Physics teacher.

I'll be honest, I've never tried to find out if it's true, because of the disappointment I'd feel if it turned out not to be.
(, Thu 17 Mar 2011, 13:13, 6 replies)
Not my teacher
But I feel this is worth another look.
(, Thu 17 Mar 2011, 13:11, 1 reply)
Dr Ball was the head of chemistry, and looked like a thin version of Santa Clause.
He was a kind, shy, slightly nervous man, and didn't fare well with the thicker, bullying-type lads.

On the morning of the open day, however, the school was absolutely littered with signs saying "Chemistry Demonstration Lab 4 2pm".

In Lab 4, the chairs had been laid out like a theatre, in front of a table which was covered in kit, and the original WWII blackout curtains had been drawn. By 2pm the place was absolutely rammed with parents and prospective pupils.

Suddenly the lights went out, pitching room into complete darkness, and the audience hushed. The door at the back creaked open, slammed, and in strode Dr Ball, armed with a lit candle on an old Victorian holder.

He marched up to the desk, where he lit a bunsen burner with the candle. The flickering orange flame gave him a demonic look, illuminating his white beard, and reflecting from his glasses.

"Good afternoon," he said confidently. "and thank you for coming - welcome to Lab 4. The benefits of Chemistry are myriad, and I hope to be able to outline a few of them today. If your son decides to take Chemistry, he will have the opportunity to learn how to do things like this" BANG whIIIIIIIIIIIIIIZZZZZZZZ! BANG! A sheet of green flame shot along a glass tube to explode with some force, covering the front row with dust.

"Of course," he continued, "there is also the theoretical side, which might not appear quite as exciting initially, but will lead him to conclusions that may well produce things like this:" SHOOOOM POP! Pffft BANG! further explosions, flames and residue.

For an hour he blew stuff up, set light to things, exploded half the room and shot sweet-smelling dust over everything. To this day it was one of the most singularly exciting, well-choreographed and interesting shows I have ever seen.

He left the room to a standing ovation, and a hundred lads all tugging their parents' sleeves and instructing them that they wanted to be a chemist when they grew up.

Fucker didn't mention co-valencies once, mind.
(, Thu 17 Mar 2011, 13:02, 1 reply)

This question is now closed.

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