Goodbye, Mr Chips?;Letter

3rd September 1999 at 01:00
HOW INSPIRING it was to read John Dickinson's experiences as a history teacher in rural Scotland in the 1970s (TESS, August 20). Here was a man who could transform a class of educational failures - with quite significant behavioural problems - into an elite by dint of hard work, albeit starting at 6am each morning.

John Dickinson was Sidney Poitier, Mr Chips and Mr Holland of the Opus rolled into one, a trinity of omniscient excellence. Several details did not quite ring true, however, most notably the fact that there was never any provision for resitting O grades.

"History teachers," he quoted, "suffer from delusions of grandeur." John Dickinson, I fear, just suffers from delusions.

I note that he is now a writer - fiction, no doubt.

Michael Toner

Limekilnburn Road Quarter Hamilton

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