A letter to the head of my sixth form

Dear Simon

You may not remember me. I was a student at your sixth form a few years ago. You told me that I was not smart enough to manage with A Levels. You suggested that I go down the vocational route of education as it would suit me better. You had no faith in my ability or my enthusiasm. This is just a quick letter to say that not only did I leave the college having completed A Levels as you are aware, I have gone on to succeed at university and I have just been accepted into a PGCE at the top teacher training university in the South West.

I would like to thank you for counting me out, twice. The first time I thought that maybe you were right. But that year I worked so hard to show you that I would be able to manage studying A Levels. The second time you said I wouldn’t manage you gave me a point to prove. You along with the vast majority of other educators I have come across always put me down, had no faith in me and gave me nothing to work for. You single handedly showed me how not to be a supportive teacher, let alone head of year.

A teacher should aim to encourage and enthuse their pupils, and make them want to show up to school or college. You failed in that. By saying that you thought I wouldn’t be able to cope with my studies nearly made me drop out of college all together. The only reason I stayed at college was because of two or three subject teachers. 

In my opinion, you saying to me in front of my parents that I was not smart enough was the moment I lost all respect for you, and was the moment you failed in your main role as an educator. I would like to thank you however. You have shown me the type of teacher that I hope I will never be. 

I hope that in my classroom, every child will feel valued, every child will feel supported and every child will achieve the best that they can. I hope that in my classroom every child will be excited to come into school, and excited to learn in a safe and supportive environment. No child will be made to feel that they aren’t good enough, or smart enough because that is simply unfair and unprofessional on your part and to me, it is a sign that you are a failure of an educator.

Thank you Simon, for showing me all of the things that I shouldn’t be as a teacher. It probably will be the most important lesson you will have ever taught me that you didn’t even realise you taught me.

Regards,

Josh

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