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Thanks Miss: a letter of appreciation

A whole school photo at Grove School, taken to mark the 25th anniversary in 1994.

Following on from the revelation this week that Education Secretary Michael Gove has apologised to his former French teacher for misbehaving in class 30 years ago. I thought it would be good to follow suit. However, from anyone who can recall how I was at primary school – I was angelic, and never (as far as I can remember!) in any trouble.

So, this is my letter of thanks to the teachers at Grove Primary School, Trowbridge who inspired me to become a teacher.

To Mr Berry, Miss Elway, Miss Duckham, Miss Hope, and Miss Miness,

Firstly, apologies if I have called you Miss/Mrs/Ms by mistake – I promise it’s not deliberate.

I’m sure you’re aware of the recent letter from Mr Gove apologising for his behaviour when he was at school. While he had something to apologise for. Mine is a letter of thanks.

It was the late 80’s when I arrived eager and ready to learn through the front entrance of Grove. During my time as Grove, this eagerness never wavered. This is due to the inspirational teaching I encountered throughout my career.

To Mr Berry – thank you for being an inspirational role model. Your ever welcoming presence as Headteacher has undoubtedly had an impact on me, and influenced my decision to be a primary school teacher.

To Miss Elway – I will always remember you for your passion on us learning general knowledge and our weekly quizes, as well as signing your name on the blackboard to let us stay in at playtimes. More than this though, thank you for embracing learning through topic work – I still hold vivid memories of drawing animals in my topic book – this has developed my passion for teaching creatively and knowing that in the 90s, in light of the National Curriculum, you were still putting children first, and focusing on how we wanted to learn. I shall remember this when teaching my own classes.

To Miss Duckham – although you only came to Grove when I was in KS2, I still remember your books. I’ll always remember your sharing stories with our class. I can still close my eyes and transport myself into your classroom (it was opposite Mr Masseys Year 6 class) and see myself sitting at the table, listening to your stories. Thank you for reading stories in an engaging way. It is because of you I love teaching English, and hold stories so dearly in my mind.

To Miss Hope – thank you for giving me a great introduction into life at school. You showed me there was nothing to worry about and made me feel at home at Grove.

Finally, to Miss Miness – the tallest Deputy Headteacher in the world (probably!). While I will always remember you for towering above all of the children and staff at Grove, it is for your kind heart and sincere concern for the welfare of the children you taught that I will always remember you for.

Although I have thanked each of you individually, I believe it is your effort as a team that has ensured I hold Grove in such high regard. From the senior management team to the dinner ladies, I have always felt welcome and appreciated at Grove. Something I believe takes more than the work of one individual to achieve. I sincerely hope that I am able to absorb these qualities and become an inspirational teacher to some of the children I will have the privilege of teaching. I shall remember your love, stories, personalities and passion for teaching throughout my career as teacher.

Additionally, I will always hold dear the school productions. From Snow White in 1989 (I have this on VHS somewhere), to ‘Santa goes rock’ and gelling my hair back in the style of the 1950’s. I may have been one of the quietest children in school, but I loved being part of the school productions. These are excellent memories, even if I did fall off the back of the stage during one rehearsal.

As a last thought, I reminisce on my leavers assembly. It was July 1995. While I can’t remember much of it, I do remember being upset at leaving and heading to that ‘big school’ (otherwise known as Clarendon). I left Grove with that desire and eagerness to learn that I entered with. If I can have this impact on even one child I teach, I have been successful as a teacher.

Thank you for inspiring me.

yours sincerely,

David

Related articles:

Dear Sir, I’m sorry: letters of apology to former teachers: http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2012/oct/23/dear-sir-im-sorry-apology-former-teachers

Gove apologises to his former French teacher: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-20034101

Nostalgia – the best years of their lives: http://www.wiltshiretimes.co.uk/wtcommunity/memory/downmemorylane/8290006.Nostalgia___the_best_years_of_their_lives/

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