The best quotes from My Best Teacher 2018
"Ah yes, Mrs Creecher. I’m pretty sure she’s human, but I wouldn’t bet my last squishy on it. You might expect me to hate all my teachers but, actually, I can tolerate them all once they realise I’m in charge. Mrs Creecher used to really struggle to keep order in the classroom, but since she gave up trying, everyone’s been a lot happier. And break lasts for 45 minutes, which is sort of epic."
"All of the teachers were excellent but there was one in particular who has gone on to become a great friend and whom I still see regularly today: Jane Brown Todd, who taught me art. She was such a progressive teacher and didn’t play by the rules. I can remember her lessons having a lot of the attributes that our drama classes often had, such as playing music: I remember painting to Portishead."
"Mr Cooper put me in my place, but he did it without making me feel discouraged. What an incredible skill that is. He was the one member of staff I felt I could speak to with a level of mutual respect and understanding. It’s difficult when you’ve been working [as an actor] since the age of 12 to go back into a school and be patronised every day. He wouldn’t do that. He wouldn’t patronise me."
"Mr Lynch ran the school plays and whatnot. He got me a comedy role in a play and it was the first time I was on stage making people laugh. I was Lieutenant O’Dreary, in Bugsy Malone. He encouraged me to improvise and I went to town with it. You know what? I haven’t thought about that until this minute and now I’m just stood here talking about it to you and I can’t stop smiling, man. Can’t stop."
"Mr Owen sticks out. There was fear factor that he created, but there was also a respect that he created. He was a big bloke, very tall, very broad shoulders, and he could stare you down. There was an intimidating vibe about him when you were called into his office. I was called in quite often… I just talked too much and was too giddy, especially after break when I’d been playing football."
"My head of music, Diane Berry, was an unstoppable force who supported my musical ambitions while also keeping me in line. I played the trumpet in the school orchestra, which she organised, so I was forever in her classroom. She was a relentless bundle of energy with a big, infectious smile and a booming voice. If she wanted us to achieve something, she found a way of motivating us all to achieve that goal. Everyone was committed to pleasing her."
"Mr Powell taught me Classics. He stood out because of his commanding presence and sonorous voice. He clearly loved the Classics; he had such an evident enthusiasm for it, which was very difficult not to feel personally when you were being taught by him. He dressed conservatively in a university gown and cap and his teaching style was traditional, too. He would always write on a blackboard at the front of the room, while sitting perched high on a desk."
"Miss Brace hated children, but she absolutely loved her subject. She was the sort of teacher who had a twinkle in her eye and loved to say outrageous things just to see how they would go down. I remember once, we were reading Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida and she looked around the classroom and said: 'This play is so misogynistic. I’m sure Shakespeare had a dose of the clap when he wrote it.'"
"Mr French was funny. The humour he brought to lessons meant we all enjoyed them. He was great at involving everyone. It wasn’t really 'us' and 'him' – we were all in it together. When you’re in primary school and you’re all together for most of the subjects, there’s a strong sense that you’re part of a team. He had a real skill at bringing everyone together as that team. My entire career has been built on this ethos."
"I spent most of my school life being sent out of classes – I was a terrible talker. But never in English. I didn’t miss an English class and that says it all. Mr Whittington was my teacher – he made his classes come to life. He loved his subject and he wanted us to be as passionate about literature, plays, authors and playwrights as he was. To this day, I still think about things we discussed and debates we had."