21st June is National Thank a Teacher Day, set up by The Teaching Awards Trust to recognise and celebrate the positive impact of teachers. With all the changes happening across the education sector, it is crucial, now more than ever, to say thank you to the amazing and inspiring teachers who help educate and guide the UK’s future movers and shakers.
Throughout our time at school, we go through many different learning experiences, all of which are heavily impacted by the very person doing the teaching. For many of us, our teachers play a significant role in the pathways we take later in life, whether it’s an English teacher who helped us fall in love with literature, or a maths teacher who empowered us to solve the most difficult equations. These, seemingly small, moments can often build up into a motivation to write the next great novel or contribute to sending people up into space. We have teachers to thank for where we are today.
To celebrate the day across PLMR, we asked some of our colleagues to share their stories of inspiring teachers.
Isabella Perales, Account Director in Team Education:
“My two passions in life are music and politics. One has filled my life with the happiest of memories, and the other has become my career. I can track my passion for both back to one individual – my music teacher at secondary school. He was an exceptional musician and educator, but he also loved politics, and while he was there to teach me music (which he did excellently), he also ignited my love for politics and set me on the path I currently walk. Without him, I am quite certain I wouldn’t be who I am today!”
Ben Farmer, Senior Account Executive in Team Public Affairs:
“My inspiring teachers were my two sixth form geography teachers. Across two years we covered everything from coasts (with a fun trip to Swanage) and climate change to urban regeneration and international trade policy. They both brought their own unique wit and insights to keep our lessons fun and interactive. Over half of the class went onto study Geography at University – a testament to their passion for the subject! Both teachers, alongside my mum who was also a Geographer, inspired and encouraged me to study Geography at the University of Oxford, where I furthered my interest, particularly on urban geography.
“A top highlight of our year in sixth form was our geography trip to Iceland where wonders including waterfalls, energy pipelines and of course the blue lagoon spa entertained and reinforced our love of geography.”
Mari Downing, Account Executive in Team Mango Education:
“My secondary school French teacher had a hugely positive impact on me and my classmates. She always went above and beyond, organising debating leagues and lunchtime conversation classes to give us extra opportunities to challenge ourselves and practice our language skills. I remember one occasion in the lead-up to our exams when she even organised for us to all go for a meal at a local French restaurant, both as a chance to practice our conversational French, but also as an invaluable opportunity to relax and socialise during a stressful period. Her passion for the language was evidently infectious, as she was a huge influence in my choice to study French at university.”
James Whipp, Video and Digital Content Producer in Team Digital:
“My most inspirational teacher was a classics teacher. He possessed a fantastic sense of humour and had an amazing ability to bring the ancient world to life. Like many of the best teachers, he was always willing to spend additional time helping students outside of the classroom, often in the form of advice on careers and higher education. His advice to always pursue my passions and interests is what led me to my career in video production!”
Rachael Dillon, Senior Account Manager in Team Education:
“My school had quite a set way of doing things, but my art teacher gave us opportunities to think outside the box and learn to look at things in a different way. They also encouraged us to pursue the subject outside of the classroom, and my friends and I would go to life drawing lessons and galleries at their behest, which I still enjoy doing now.”
Nathan Hollow, Board Director and Head of Health and Social Care:
“Throughout school, my parents had always wanted me focused on maths and sciences (read: be a doctor) but when I got to College, I decided to pick up a Law AS-Level. Here, I met an excellent teacher that truly changed my life. At last, something clicked and studying went from being a chore to something I really loved. No longer was it a slog to remember formulas, chemical compounds, and the inner workings of plants – instead, I found myself engrossed in case law and debating legal points in class. I went on to achieve thoroughly mediocre grades in the sciences, but thankfully that teacher convinced me – and, crucially, my parents – that I should always have been focused on the humanities. The rest as they say is history – rather than head to university to do something science based which I would have ultimately hated, I instead took a third year in College, completed my A Level Law (as well as Politics and History) and ultimately started off down the path that would lead me to a Politics degree, working in Parliament and political campaigning, and eventually on to PLMR.”