Tell us about a teacher who had a real impact on your life, either for the better or the worse. How is your life different today because of him or her?
I had this teacher back when I was in Year Four (4th Grade for my American friends), this real cool teacher. I imagine him wearing a leather jacket and sunglasses when I think back, although he wore no such thing. I guess it could be because he was quite young… probably in his mid 20’s.
Anyways, this guy treated us kids like young adults. He pushed me harder than anybody had ever before. I was quite smart so I could breeze through most lessons without putting in a lot of effort. So much so that I used to miss a lot of school because I found it boring. I even convinced my parent’s that it would be alright to skip a few weeks and go visit my Grandmother in Pakistan.
This was in Year Four at the end of the day… We were still understanding the importance of education in our lives.
I return and this guy is standing there smiling in the corridor.
“Welcome back Kiddo… I hope you had a fun time visiting your grandma. Holiday’s are over my friend… It’s time for Hell!”
Well, he didn’t use those words and this scene only ever happened in my head but it still did happen, in some way. Believe me … It did!
So while I was away, the rest of the class started learning their time-tables up to 12. Obviously I had been away for a while so I came back and I was like…
“What’s this shit? I thought math was easy. Just counting and shit…“
Boy was I wrong. I suddenly had to remember stuff in my head and was expected to know it on the spot. I think this guy picked harder on me on purpose because he knew I didn’t know it.
So even though I did my hardest to hide amongst the 30 other children in my class, he still managed to find me somehow, every frickin’ time!
“What’s 4 x 9? You don’t know do you? Thought not…”
I stood there, red in the face, trembling out of fear.
“Well you know what that means… LINES!
I want 4 double-sided A4 pages of lines of the 4 times table by tomorrow. If you don’t know it by tomorrow, we can double it for next time.”
This happened quite a few times. The 6 times table, 7, 8… Well you get the picture.
You would think I would hate this guy for how he treated and what he did… But I don’t. I appreciate it. He pushed me at a time when I didn’t even know my potential. Since that time, I know the timetables like I know the alphabet. Its instant. As soon as someone mentions it or I have to use it, I know… It’s incredible. He hard-wired it into my brain somehow and its stuck forever.
I see that moment in my life as unlocking the door to my brain and becoming aware of my own abilities. He made me who I am today in a weird but awesome way. I don’t know if he meant it or not but I appreciate it anyway.