I’ve dreamt of being a writer since I was 10. I spoke of it at interviews for senior school . I worked hard entrance examinations. I read widely- I had a good imagination. However during school that first day of senior school something quashed that idea.
‘Stand up if you are left- handed ,’ ordered the English mistress, my form tutor. I stood at my desk, uneasy in the front row amidst a row of staring faces.
‘Left- handed people are sinister… I dislike sinister people. Sit. My first day and I was just 11. I recall one other girl standing. To this day I don’t know why my teacher said it. All I felt was complete humiliation. That same teacher never graded my work above a C- until the O level year, five years later. Out of the blue she awarded me a B- . So surprised I rang Mum from a phone box to tell her. I’d done nothing different, I didn’t know the reason.
No teacher had believed in me and my dream was gone. By then I was into different things . Though when I finally finished a science degree, I decided upon teaching. You might wonder why?
I wanted to teach to make a difference. I wanted to inspire not ridicule; to encourage not demoralise; to engage with learners not alienate . It is true every teacher shapes a life- but how we shape it is important.
33 years of teaching and I now lead literacy in a large primary school. To be the English lead is quite ironic. My background is science; I was no good at English .
I have started leading Inset in other schools and sharing in teacher groups, and occasionally at conferences.
During lockdown- whilst out on a run – I suddenly thought about writing a blog. I considered sharing my running and the nature that I was seeing whilst out in the local area .
I had no idea how it would go . Suddenly, I started writing . People read it . Nothing prepared me for the positive comments , conversations and suggestions .
Tonight as I look at the screen -it says ‘publish ‘ . I’ve published it .People read and appraise. They don’t ridicule or erase it. They encourage. I am a writer- how can that be?