Last night I had the privilge of attending the year group prize giving ceremony at the high school my son attends. It was a proud moment for me as he received an excellence award in science, the subject area that he has been most interested in and intends to follow through next year.
Watching the assembled group of teachers and students, I was reminded, yet again, of the incredible investment of time and effort that is made by these professionals as they work tirelessly to shape and mould the young people in their care. The high quality of the musical performances, the looks of appreciation that were exchanged between students and their teachers, and the overarching sense of pride and achievement that filled the hall made me proud to be an educator.
So it was with interest that I watched the clip titled "Mushy finds his voice', in which pupil Musharaf Asghar overcomes a lifelong crippling stutter and tells his classmates and teachers: 'Thank you for helping me speak'
Preparing for a crucial GCSE test in which he has to speak aloud, 'Mushy' struggles. His teacher, Mr Burton, recalls something he saw on The King's Speech, involving the use of music to re-focus attention while speaking. Mushy pops in the headphones, and tries again, and as the words start pouring out of him Mr Burton's face is a picture of pure joy.
At the end of year assembly a teacher tells the pupils how when he arrived at the school Mushy could barely talk, was badly bullied, and had just a 34 per cent attendance record. Now he's a prefect and Mushy has something he'd like to say, she tells them.
Now that's a great story – an individual changed and liberated as a learner through the actions of a teacher. We need to hear more of these!