Teacher knows best

21st July 2006 at 01:00
More than two-thirds of Scots (68 per cent) say some or all of their teachers knew them well and were able to predict how they would fare after they left school.

But one in four young adults admits hiding their report cards from their parents.

An opinion survey of more than 1,000 adults across Scotland in June reveals that, contrary to many expectations, teachers' comments in report cards show they could predict the future of many of their pupils.

Almost one in four said that report cards had a direct effect on improving their attitude to work and behaviour in the classroom. Nearly one in five (18 per cent) claimed teachers' comments helped to build their confidence.

Scottish celebrities, contacted by the Consolidated press agency, which promotes the Scottish Executive's teacher recruitment campaign, confirm just how spot on teachers were.

Chris Paterson, Scottish rugby captain, who is also a qualified physical education teacher, said: "My teachers did have me down to a T and some predicted that I'd do quite well at rugby."

He is one of the one in five Scots who looked forward to receiving his report card "really just to find out what teachers thought of me".

Television presenter Jenni Falconer said: "Every teacher since the primary school has always written that Jenni is a chatterbox which was probably an early indication of me heading down the TV presenter route."

Walter Smith, Scotland's football manager, reckons he ended up in the right career. "Such were my academic abilities that report cards usually stated that sport was the only thing I was likely to be good at."

Bringing her report card home was not a problem for TV presenter Kaye Adams. "There was one teacher at primary, who was a friend of my mum's family, who did predict that I would either go into TV or be a writer."

She continued: "I'm afraid I was a wee bit of a swot so I was always quite cocky about bringing my report card home."

How Clean is Your House presenter Aggie McKenzie got a fright when she moved from primary to secondary. "I was top of the class and dux in primary but when I got to secondary, suddenly everyone was brighter than me. I didn't really have to work hard in primary, so when it came to secondary I wanted to do the bare minimum and have as good a time as possible.

"My report cards always said that I took everything in my stride and 'could do better'. But I do regret not taking full advantage of my education, so I should have pushed myself more."

Libby McArthur, who plays Gina Rossi in BBC's River City, did well in early secondary. "I think the brainy blokes I was in 'competition' with got flummoxed by arty subjects, whereas I managed to just make the grade in them all.

"That is until third year and the influence of boys, hormones and punk - when it all went pear-shaped."

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