In primary school, my favourite teacher was a plump woman with short hair and a surname with an ominous ring to it, as well as an apostrophe in the middle of it. I seem to recall that she had an exceptionally red face. This enthusiastic lady would pile heapings of reading comprehension exercises on the table in front of me to do as extra work when I had finished what everyone else was doing. I saw her once in town and she came and said hello to me, and she told me that I was her favourite student. This was after I had come out of her class (yes, I used to be well behaved). She was disappointed that, back then, I didn’t have a bigger and less boring ambition (I had wanted to be a chemist so that I could invent a height adjusting medicine). She asked me why I didn’t want to be the prime minister (and why don’t I, still?)
What I especially liked about her, besides the fact that she would let me read most of the time when I had finished classwork, was that she was a fan of my creative writing and would reward me bountifully for my efforts. I remember that she announced that I had a flair for writing, whereupon one of the girls flared her nostrils as a reenactment and corruption of the word. She was my first fan, but more importantly, she was a kind person and a kind reader.
My favourite teacher in secondary school was a tall, thin, bald man who taught drama in the first year and then English. His remaining hair at the side of his head was youthfully black and he would fit his lanky frame into a small, green MG which he drove to and from school. He would listen to music on the tape recorder before and after class and once told me off for singing and allegedly ruining one of his favourite tracks, ‘It’s got to be perfect’. This was another kind person. After school, he would help me by suggesting improvements for drafts of my GCSE coursework. He gave me individual attention and extra time when he could have been doing something else. He also let me read out from the set text in class which I loved doing. He was a kind and good man. My favourite memory of him is when princess Diana had died and he said out loud that it was good riddance to another parasite.