When I met Guy I was finishing off a Graduate Diploma in Education and fully expecting I’d follow the ‘natural path’ and teach commerce or business subjects (the nature of my undergraduate degree) to secondary students. I was not in the least bit jaded with my previous profession but I was wanting to know one thing – could I teach? I had three boys, at that time aged between 7 and 10 and I had been a hands-on parent, fully embracing opportunities to read or to go on excursions or even be co-opted to school council. By nature I am analytical, but with a little intuition thrown into the mix, I began to think I ‘could’ be suited to this thing called teaching. So began my journey to retrain and move into education. What I wasn’t expecting though was my detour into Primary teaching. That was Guy’s unknowing hand, guiding me toward this life of storytelling, embracing my inner child and letting go of my preconceived notions of turning my brain to mush (so sorry fellow Primary teachers out there).
When I was assigned my Prac placement into Guy’s classroom I originally thought it was a typical country school – you know the kind, good kids, nice parents, just cruise through the day. Hmmm, was I wrong. Guy might have come across to the infrequent observer as casual but he did an impressive job camouflaging his skilled guidance with casual banter. Guy would take those kids out for one of his many games, every day, sometimes twice. I pondered this frequency and even reflected in my journal that I thought this was at the cost of ‘core learning time’. So, off I went with his blessing to conquer the primary classroom, one educational theorist at a time. It took me about three years to get it. Guy wasn’t being ‘easy’ on those kids. He was rewarding their effort. Guy had his students working at least 12 months in advance of their age, in some cases one boy was two years ahead. When he was instructing, teaching, guiding, supporting his manner was calm, patient and kind. This isn’t ‘casual’ – it is teaching with heart. I have used his pedagogical tutelage daily as I teach my students, particularly his maths lessons. But it was only after finding out for myself that his manner was what made it all work. He was educating the mind, the spirit and the heart of those kids and for that anyone of them will tell you he was the best teacher they have ever had. Ditto, the same for me! #youredustory #best teacher