Who Is Teaching Your Children?
There is nothing more important and precious than our children. It is a statement we would probably all agree on. Therefore, by extension, the people who educate our children are very important and precious people too.
Every day, children are left for eight hours in the care of a group of people whose job it is to build their knowledge, understanding, intelligence and curiosity. At the same time, these people are expected to model behaviour that, if appreciated and absorbed, will contribute to and enhance parents’ efforts to help their children grow into friendly, kind, patient, tolerant adults, with a strong sense of justice and decency.
Some teachers have certain qualities in greater abundance than others, just like real people do, and that is no different at Acorn House, where the students are taught each day by a range of interesting and diverse characters. Parents see the teachers relatively infrequently, however, at presentations or meetings, and it is their children who are the ones who really know them and fully appreciate them.
This article is a chance to give parents a better idea of their children’s teachers, based on methodical evidence gathering. Each student was asked to anonymously describe each teacher using one adjective. The results were then entered into a word cloud generator. (For those unfamiliar with word clouds, a bank of words is entered into an automatic generator, which are then presented in a random layout. Any words that are repeated are increased in size, with the highest frequency word the largest of all.) Each teacher’s word cloud is shown below in alphabetical order, and provides an at-a-glance overview of what their students, your children, think of them.
Mr Alivernini (Music)
As expected, our music teacher is most noted for his talent. Mr Alivernini is an excellent musician, who plays in a variety of musical groups in his spare time. His talent is his only quality that the children consider greater than his dedication; he is kind and fair too. This fairness is reflected in the fact that he is strict and easygoing in equal measure. One student even noticed that he is musical! As people who have been to some of his concerts and know him socially, his colleagues can vouch for the insightfulness of the students in this appraisal of our creative and kind colleague.
Mr Aranda (Spanish)
Mr Aranda brings enthusiasm to the school, and does so in a cultured and relaxed way. This is exactly how he is perceived by his fellow teachers, who also appreciate these qualities in our Spanish colleague, who is always talking passionately about art, music, poetry, history and politics.
Mr Canto (PE)
Our PE teacher is considered fun, above everything else, but is also almost equally well-known for being sporty (unsursprisingly!), sportsmanlike and enthusiastic. Every word in the box above perfectly sum up aspects of his character, and it is nice that the students appreciate his ironic and entertaining sense of humour, just as his colleagues do.
Mr Gale (History/Geography)
There were fewer words to describe Mr Gale than any other teacher with many students agreeing on his main characteristics: he is considered funny or fun by a high proportion of students. Mr Gale is a well-read and philosophical character, and he considers laughter one of life’s most beautiful elements, and this is something he deliberately tries to impart to his students so they are able to enjoy life and face up to challenges with a positive outlook.
Mrs Lioce (Italian)
Mrs Lioce is the engine room of the Middle School. The students understand this, and appreciate her for always being there for them when they need academic support or a friendly ear to listen and help. She is the go-to person for students, and she is the same for the other teachers, who recognise her as a respected bastion of the school.
Miss Maiorano (Maths)
While she is the school’s newest member, Miss Maiorano has already established herself as very intelligent, patient and clear. She has impressed her teaching colleagues equally quickly, who have reached similar conclusions to those of the students, especially with regards to her being nice, helpful and calm.
Miss Torres (Science)
Every school needs a Miss Torres. She is the nice, funny, crazy, maternal one, a larger-than-life character. Because of that, she is wonderfully popular with the students and the teachers. However, nobody gives her trouble because she is as strict as she is cool.
Mr Walker (Art / Technical Drawing)
Our art teacher is recognised for his creativity, talent and artistry. He is also considered cool and fun, but everybody knew that about that about Mr Walker, one of the most relaxed people you could ever meet.
Mrs Zedde (Art History)
Mrs Zedde is nice, patient and kind, according to her students. That is exactly how her colleagues would describe her. She is a thoroughly nice person.
In conclusion, the teachers that Acorn House parents entrust their children to – in the words of the children themselves – are distinctly talented, enthusiastic, fun, funny, helpful, intelligent, creative and kind, with many other qualities besides.
American socialist and civil rights activist W. E. B. Dubois once said, “Children learn more from what you are than what you teach.” If that is the case, then it is heartening to know that each one of the teachers in the Middle School of Acorn House is an excellent role model to the children, and the parents of these children can rest assured that Acorn House Middle School is a place that enriches and enhances their character every day in many different ways, teaching them to be good people by being good people.
John is the Middle School Coordinator for the English Curriculum. His favourite writers are Shakespeare, Dickens and the students in his English classes.