Last Friday, Mark Watson set a task on his daily blog. This was the task: "Help someone. Do it however you want and to whomever you want." This made me think about things. I made a list of all things I have done and will do in the next couple of weeks to help people. They are all quite trivial but I hope they make a few people's lives a tiny bit better. But then in an RS lesson at school today, I suddenly realised what I could do to, not so much help, but certainly make someone feel good about themselves. I wasn't really sure whether to go through with it because what I was thinking of doing could seem a bit odd and out of the blue. But I imagined how I'd feel if someone did the same thing to me and it made me feel all warm and happy so I decided to go for it.
So at the end of the lesson I went up to my teacher, who had taught me History in Years 7, 8 and 9 and had just started teaching me RS. I asked him whether he remembered the time when he told our class in Year 7 how he had gone into teaching history and religious studies because he had had a fantastic teacher who had completely inspired him. I remember how happy it made me to imagine myself telling people the same story, about how I too, had had a wonderfully inspiring history teacher who had fuelled my fascination of the past. But I never told him. It was only today that I realised the impact that this teacher had had on me and how all of my current ambitions are a result of my interest in history that he had stimulated and encouraged when I was 11.
He said he remembered, and I went on to say - slightly embarrassedly - how this was the same case for me and how I was now hoping to do A Levels in History and Politics and later a degree in history because of his amazing and inspirational teaching. I attempted to express the huge gratitude I felt towards him and when I had finished talking, he was nearly in tears. I suppose we teenagers tend to not think about how much better it makes a teacher feel when a student says thank you for teaching me. I think that if every now and then, a student did something as simple as thanking their teacher for their lesson, it would make teachers feel an awful lot happier. My teacher said that what I said to him really made his day and that made me so pleased that I'd actually said it. My friends commented on how I was smiling for the rest of the day and I hope that my teacher was too. Because I really owe a huge amount to him.
So thank you Mark Watson for giving me the guts to say something to him. And thank you to my teacher for my interest in history, for which I will always be grateful. x