An Education Worth Having: Inspiring Teachers

An Education Worth Having: Inspiring Teachers
By Dr Julie Harris 

For me, an education worth having is one which equips students for their future.  It is an education which culminates in happy, caring, self-aware people with opportunities in their lives and the desire to continue challenging themselves through learning. 

It is one which provides the academic results needed to open up new worlds and give choices.  It is an education which results in people who can confidently think their way out of whatever obstacles and hurdles they encounter; people who can stand up for themselves and for others and who know right from wrong.  An education worth having provides the skills necessary to know when and how to give and receive help as well as the resilience to deal with inevitable sad times.
All of this prompts the question of how students learn these things and leads to the question probably implicit in the one I am trying to answer - “What makes an education worth having?”  This is far more simple.  Teachers are what make an education worth having.  It is teachers who inspire their students to learn, who create plans that support their learning and who care for them in the classroom and beyond.
I qualified as a British Science teacher with a BSc in Zoology and Psychology and a PGCE a very long time ago, in the days of floppy disks and mobile phones the weight of a small brick. It appeared that technology had no boundaries when people were able to talk on a device without a cable attached, something previously contemplated only in science fiction films.
During my teacher training all that time ago, it was often said that within 20 years, computers would mean that teachers would be obsolete.  I always found this a strange thought.  Presumably when books were first produced, people also suggested that teachers would soon be redundant, as students could teach themselves.  However, this self-directed learning has not taken off as some feared it might.  Fabulous online platforms such as Khan academy allow anybody with internet access to freely study Mathematics to the highest levels, but most students don’t opt to spend significant time learning in this way.  They learn because of their teachers and their relationships with them.
So for me, it is teachers who make an education worth having.  It is why we spend so long and agonise so hard over the recruitment of our teachers.  It is why I am so frequently grateful for the time and passion that teachers invest in inspiring and supporting our students’ learning.  And when a student returns to see us long after leaving school and recounts the ways they have made a difference in the world, that’s when we know that a Guildford Grammar School education is an education worth having.

You can find out more about a Guildford Grammar School education by clicking here.
Julie Harris
Director of Teaching and Learning

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10 Jun 2020 - 2:44 PM
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