It is acknowledged that when the right teacher comes along at the right time, it can make a significant impact on the student’s life. I’m lucky to have had good teachers across my education and career, as well as in other areas of my life.

Mrs Douglas was my Year Six teacher. It’s an important year; the last year of primary school when finally you are the ‘senior’ class in the school before the prospect of high school and starting all over again. Mrs Douglas was no nonsense but she had a good sense of humour. I really enjoyed composition – creating stories – even back then, and she encouraged me in a number of different ways.

One of my stories was selected to be read at a school assembly and as someone who never liked attention, I was torn between the fear of getting up and reading my words out (with a microphone!) and the opportunity to share my story with others. I survived the experience and my story made my schoolmates laugh – quite an achievement for a serious and shy girl.

Something that has stayed with me across the years was a parting comment from Mrs Douglas. She said I would do well, but that I would sometimes choose the hardest path to get there. I hope it wasn’t a self-fulfilling prophecy, but I know there’s been times when I’ve looked back and thought of Mrs Douglas, and how she was probably right.

Over time I’ve realised that teachers come in various guises. People can have an influence in different ways, and sometimes this can give you a nudge or help you to focus on what you are really passionate about. I love how we never really stop learning. If you keep your mind open to possibilities, not only can you keep coming across the people that you need at the right time in your life, but you can also provide guidance and support to others.

We never know which lives we can influence, or when, or why.

Stephen King

Have you had an inspirational teacher?

Inspired by Discover Prompts – April writing prompts

[Photo: part of mural next to book shop in Hornsby, Sydney]