I had a teacher called Mrs Watermeyer from New Zealand.
Mrs Watermeyer was the first teacher (or adult) to ever speak to me with any regards.
She told me that I was a gifted writer and that I used English well.... I never fully understood all that she said. Regularly, my compositions were pinned on the honour board and often I was asked to read my compositions and poems in front of assembly. I relished that option as oration really made my punctuation come alive.
Mrs Watermeyer encouraged me to be the best I could be, I will never forget her as long as I live.
When I went to Sunday School Mrs Grassic was my teacher. I loved her. She was an elderly woman and she smelt like mothballs. Mrs Grassic always seemed to be right there when I was in a spot, whether emotional, mental, physical or spiritual in nature - she always had a "band-aid" for me. Mrs Grassic told me that to be true to myself was the secret. Mrs Grassic was with me from cradle roll to baptism at 14, then she left our church.
My great- Aunt, my god-mother's mother was born on the same day as me. We were soul mates. Auntie Robbie was the matriach of the family. Children behaved in her presence and no-one dared refuse her fruit cake and tea. My god-mother had no children of her own and my own grandmother died when I was young, so Auntie Robbie was like my grandmother. She taught me to love unconditionally, to be tolerant, to not judge another unless I had walked in their shoes and to be brave. She told me that the only barriers in my life were my own. When it was unheard of she, as a widowed single mother with 2 children, built her own home. She then compounded the crime by going to work while her children were at school. I loved my Auntie Robbie.
When I went to high school, I came head to head with an obnoxious woman whose name I don't recall. Throughout year 7 (1st year of high school) she seemed to always be somewhere in my world making life difficult. I was shy, had no confidence whatsoever, was overweight and miserable. She exacerbated my plight.
In year 8 she was my English teacher. During the first week of the year, I made the mistake of correcting her several times for saying things wrong and passing along wrong instructions on several things and each time backed up my argument with an example from a textbook. Clearly, she had no grasp of English and didn't actually care if anyone learnt anything in her class. Twice in the first few weeks she sent me to the Year head for discipline. When I explained to the Year Head, I was just let off each time. Then it got to the point where each class, she would just tell me to leave the room (before she even started). So I would sit in the corridor and do my English from my textbook by myself. I was top 5 in the English exams at the end of the year despite that woman.
When I finished year 9, I won a book award for English for the highest mark in the state for some part of it. I accepted it on stage at Assembly and had to walk by Mrs who-ever-she-was ad I said to her "thanks, you helped me earn this award". And I actually meant it.
The French philosopher Teilhard de Charidn once said "We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience."
with regard to integrity: