I graduated high school in 2015. While I was relatively sad when I said goodbye, I was never overly attached and was happy to be moving on. I felt more than ready to go and do something else, and there isn’t any part of me that wants to go back.

But I’ve been thinking a lot about the school environment, and how the people around you can really taint the experience.

For instance, teachers are so crucial and really impact students’ lives.

I can remember so clearly “good” teachers and “bad” teachers. And maybe those teachers weren’t bad, they just didn’t click with me for whatever reason. But they stick in my mind.

Maths was never my strong point in school, and it brought many, many tears as I tried to understand concepts. (Spoiler: I still don’t understand them.) But I can vividly recall one maths teacher who never made me feel embarrassed for not knowing an answer. She always explained things to me numerous times without making me feel stupid. And, okay, maths still isn’t my strong point. But she tried, and I have so much respect for her.

Similarly, I recall clearly another teacher who I was quite scared of, in primary school. You would walk into the classroom never knowing if he would be in a good or bad mood, and I was always second-guessing what to say in class because I never knew how he would respond to my answers.

I really remember how those teachers made me feel, and how it impacted the learning environment and my mood. If there was a teacher I didn’t get along with, I dreaded going to that class and it impacted my whole day.

I don’t know why I’ve been thinking about all of this. I just find it so fascinating that five years on I’m still thinking about school and the people there. I guess we remember everyone who’s made an impact on us, good or bad.

While I currently want to write more than I want to teach, in terms of a career, I think I will always want to make an impact the way a good teacher can. Even if that’s for one person, it would be so worth it. And I think that’s why I’ve been drawn to teaching in the past; I’m not necessarily great with kids, but I want to be there for people in a way a good teacher or mentor can.

One of my friends still talks about a good teacher who impacted her, and the respect and admiration with which she speaks is deserved by that person. For being genuine and respectful and whatever else. Which I think is quite beautiful, that we can think and speak so highly of someone who isn’t in our life anymore, and who we would never call a “friend”. It just goes to show the amount of impact one person can have on another.

Sarah xx

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