Thursday, 10 November 2011

Great Teachers

For Ron Smith and Joy Bevan, wonderful teachers.

“Great teachers make a difference”
Is a cliché but it’s also true
And I’ve been lucky in my life
For of great teachers I’ve had two.

There are many mediocre minds
In the world of education
Who labour and plod through the day
In drudgery, conflict and resignation.

How lucky then for me that I had two
Whose impression has never passed:
One was my guide through realms of gold;
The other led me into the distant past.

I’ve thought upon what made them great,
What characteristics they did share-
Intellect, knowledge and passion too,
But mostly it was that great word “care”.
They were as different as people could be
In their style, method and mind:
One was controlled, focussed and planned,
The other gentler, more warm and kind.

But these were only the surface things
Easily obvious to the eye.
It was the deeper things that lay beneath
That the superficial couldn’t belie.

What they taught was important to them
But so was the individual too;
It was that deep, personal approach
That most especially shone through.

They showed that care year by year
As students came and went.
Most like me turned and walked away
And never thought to turn back to give thanks.

I have long known the debt I owe
But sadly now one has died
And I have much regret that I never said
That in my heart her legacy abides.

But to the other I acknowledge my debt
For skills both unique and rare
And thank him with all of my heart
For his talent, commitment and care.

So whilst it might be a cliché to say
And abused by being too freely dispensed,
I will spread far and wide that I know
That great teachers do make a difference.

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