Clown Faces and Chocolate Moulds

Last weekend, I was clearing out some old schoolwork and found some of the “creative” pieces of work that we’d done at school. I say “we” because both of my siblings went to the same school, and we all did the same projects, despite there being five years between us.

In Design and Technology, it was a bizarre, moving clown face. In Food Tech and Resistant Materials, it was chocolate moulds.

These were the two things that I remember, but I’m sure there were many others. We recently found our old copy of “To Kill A Mockingbird”, full of sticky notes, highlighting and notes in the margins – again, used by all three of us. 

Don’t get me wrong it’s, it’s a brilliant book with a fascinating story. But amazing books are written every year. There are many more “classics”, yet the syllabus is rigid.

“We have to study this book/anthology/play. We always have done.”

Why?

Yes, a syllabus is important for structure and uniformity in marking, I guess. But it also shows laziness and a lack of passion.

How many of our teachers have become comfortable in what they were teaching? How many years had they been making clown faces and chocolate moulds?

It’s sad because it seems like the original flame that I imagine these teachers had has been snuffed out. As someone who wants to teach, this is a frightening prospect.

But there are also the Great Teachers. The ones who maintain their passion and desire to teach. The ones who are creative and imaginative. The ones who still manage to inspire and lead their students on a journey of learning within the tight confines of a syllabus.

Sadly, it seems these kinds of teachers are few and far between in our schools.

Who were your best teachers? Why?

Who were your worst teachers? Why?