*I was given a copy of “You’re different Jemima!’ by Empowering resources in order to complete this review. All opinions are my own.*
Before a child becomes and adult, schooling plays such an large part of their life. Teachers take up a lot of day to day time and their influence can also impact their home life. A good teacher can instill a love of learning. A bad one can break a child’s spirit.
I’ve written previously about a particularly bad teacher I encountered in my high school life. Her actions ruined science for a lot of years. I couldn’t learn while I had a teacher who thought so little of her pupils well being. I was labelled as a troublemaker, but would you want to learn in a hostile environment?
I also had a PE teacher who didn’t appear to see the value in his female students. He regularly split the class into teams of boys vs girls and would place himself on the girls team to make things ‘fair’. One memorable lesson he asked for volunteers to try a new skill we’d learned in class. Not a single male student put their hand up. However two female students did. He chose to ignore this and instead picked one of the male students.
After only 12 months with that teacher, I chose to actively avoid PE. I will admit that I wasn’t that rapt in participating before that, but he was the straw who broke the camel’s back. Ironically he was recently nominated for a teaching award.
It wasn’t all bad of course and for a time I wanted to be a teacher myself. I had even begun a teaching degree. There were teachers in my schooling life who encouraged and nurtured learning. There were teachers who pushed me when I needed it and called me on my shit when I was being, well a shit.
Recently I was given the opportunity to read two titles from the Empowering Resources range. One of those titles was called ‘You’re different Jemima!’. It tells the story of Jemima and her experience at school. This story broke my heart. It made me realise how lucky Mr 7 has been so far to have teachers who see spirit in their students as something that should be celebrated.
‘You’re different Jemima’ shows the impact that rigid learning can have on a child who wants to colour outside the boxes. I remember as a student asking teachers if I could colour things in rainbows and most of the time the answer was yes. I’m so thankful that I had that. It broke my heart to read how despondent little Jemima was at the end of each school day because she couldn’t do things ‘right’. The schooling system and what it demands of young children was breaking her spirit.
Thankfully the story has a happy ending as Jemima finds someone who sees her quirks and celebrates them. She doesn’t tell Jemima that she is wrong. She guides instead of demands. I wish that all students could have this experience.
I have one copy of ‘You’re different Jemima’ by Jedidah Morley to giveaway to one lucky reader. All you have to do is answer these simple questions. Who is the one teacher who made an impact on your learning? What did they do? This one is open to Australian residents only. Entries close 6pm Wednesday 3rd May 2017.
Terms and Conditions:
- Open to Australian residents only.
- One entry per household.
- All decisions are final.
- Entries close 6pm Wednesday 3rd of May 2017.
- Please provide a working email address so you can be contacted in the event you are a winner.
- This is a skill based competition.
I had a few wonderful teachers- english and drama. They really empowered us to think for ourselves!
What a beautiful sounding book. This is something I would love my children to read. One teacher who made an impact on me was my Year.7 teacher. I went to a school I didn’t want to go to and she made my transition so easy. She left at the end of year 7 and I cried riding my bike all the way home. #TeamIBOT
I was lucky. Throughout my schooling I had a stream of amazing teachers!
This book sounds amazing! Good luck to everyone who enters!
I went to three different primary schools, but each time I had the same teacher, my father. Every time my father was transferred to another small country school I ended up in his class.
It was actually rather wonderful. At school I called him Sir like everyone else. (I only made the mistake of calling him Daddy once. Took a while to live that down.)
My father loved music and science best of all, so we had fun singing along to a school broadcast music program each week and lots of fun doing science experiments.
I think I was the only kid in the class to get my father’s jokes and understand his sense of humour.
For 7 years I had a very special teacher.
I loved reading this and all teachers need to do so! In fact, there are many stories about how PE teachers made kids’ lives miserable. It goes against the grain for me when their subject is supposed to encompass health and personal development. I would hope that you might re-consider going into teaching Tegan. I believe you would be an amazing and inclusive teacher. Denyse x
Mr Wilson was my English teacher in high school. He was strict but believed in me, even when I was pushing boundaries.
This book sounds ace . As an ex-teacher I like to think I’d be one of those teachers people remember, for all the right reasons! I bet you’d make a wonderful teacher, it feels great to be able to contribute and make a difference but man, the paperwork is unreal! That’s what puts me off, not the kids! I’ve had some wonderful teachers both at primary school and high school and went on to work with some amazing teachers too so I feel very blessed!
I don’t remember having any teachers that were that wonderful, throughout my school years. Fortunately I did correspondence (of the old-fashioned snail-mail variety) for half of my secondary education, so I was able to avoid being the recipient of poor teaching practice. Like you, my primary school PE teacher was the worst of the lot. I still don’t like doing sports or exercise, and having had to analyse my feelings, for a PE assignment at Uni, I now understand what an enormous impact that man had on my attitude to physical activity. I still hate PE…I wish I didn’t have to teach it, but my students will never know how much I don’t like it!
I had a gorgeous teacher who always encouraged me to write. She saw something others hadn’t in me and I am very grateful.
Wow. Hard for me to pick one – Gr4 Mrs Mackenzie who gave me pillows for my bum after I’d had a hiding at home, Gr7 Mrs Mole who taught me to laugh through tears, Gr9 Mrs Hindly who showed me in Drama how to really move ppl, who Gr11 Father Brown who taught me the power of beautiful words and to have faith in me, when all about me was shit. It’s because of these teachers, and some who were never in a classroom but certainly educated me, that I became a teacher myself. My school and teachers (mostly) were my safe place from a dysfunctional home and it’s a place where I found I was valued and treated with respect. My heart breaks for those who suffer through school and, as a teacher, my aim is to make my classroom a safe, relaxing space where ppl are celebrated for their successes, not punished for failure. I’m sure I’m not 100% successful, I’ve made mistakes but mostly, I think I make a positive difference. To see the light in a child’s eyes when they make a connection, when they are challenging their world and winning, is a wonderful thing. It’s a very rewarding profession, most of the time.