The Teachers Who Influenced Us


Recently, I was reconnected with one of my head teachers from school.

It was a lovely surprise. I remember hanging on her every word in assemblies, and I looked up to her a lot.

It got me thinking about all the teachers who had an impact on our lives. The best influenced more than just our grades!

Hopefully we all had those teachers who went the extra mile.

We might not have realised or appreciated it at the time, but looking back they stand out.

“I learned so much more”

During Infant School, I had a teacher who I’ll call Mrs T. I adored her creative writing lessons.

I even wrote stories at home and brought them in for her to read. She dutifully marked them as though they’d been homework assignments.

As a tradition, on our last day, we would all write messages to each other on our school shirts. Mrs T wrote that she couldn’t wait for me to become an author. That really stuck with me!

Years later, when I was 17, I had a tutor who supported me through a tough time and, slowly but surely, helped me to gain my confidence back.

She just would not give up on me (even when I thought I wanted her to) and because of that I learned so much more than the subject I’d signed up for.

“I’ll always remember”

I asked the rest of the “Friend” team to tell me about their influential teachers, too.

Fiction Team’s Tracey remembers her English teacher.

She said, “Mrs M made English relevant, challenging and inspiring. She adored poetry and hard-hitting stories, and would always tell us how lucky she felt to be teaching us.”

Sub-editor Eddy said, “My head teacher inspired me in fourth year history when he took over the class to teach us about the American west.

“For the first time he made learning about history more than memorising dates; he made it exciting and interesting, and it instilled a passion in me which remains today.”

Fiction’s Team Alan said, “I always remember a primary school teacher who was very patient and kind. I couldn’t help but be drawn to her.

“And at secondary school, we had an English teacher who would give us book readings to do — pupils reading from novels.

“One day, she was looking for a male hero and all the rowdy lads put their hands up.

“Well, I’m no hero but who did she pick? Me. I’ll always remember that. God bless her.”

“A big thank you”

Fiction Editor Lucy said, “In high school, my English teacher Mr B was a big inspiration to me, and definitely encouraged me to follow this path. A big thank you to him!”

Finally, our Illustrations Editor Manon said, “My primary school teachers were all very good. It made me genuinely like going to school. They involved us — we had class meetings where everyone would bring ideas.

“We also had to write short pieces of fiction as part of our French class, and they would ask volunteers to read theirs. I remember finding it really fun and it made me love French.

“I also had an art teacher when I was 15, Mrs B, who appeared quite strict at the start of the year but ended up being one of the best teachers I had.

“She would not sugarcoat anything and had high expectations, while always remaining fair.

“In turn it forced us to better ourselves because it made us want to meet those expectations and ‘live up’ to her standards.”

Do you have a story about a teacher who influenced you? Share it with us on Facebook or Twitter!

For more from the “Friend” team, read our blog here.

Abigail Phillips

Abbie is the newest member of the fiction team at the "Friend." She loves how varied the role is - every day is different and there is always a new story to read. She is keen to work closely with established writers and discover new writers, too.