Growing Bookworms – The importance of teachers

The schools in South Africa are racing towards the end of a year fraught with lockdowns, illness and death. My sons have been on-line for long periods twice this year and many of the students have suffered the losses of friends, parents, grandparents, and other important people in their lives. Seeing how happy my sons are to be back at school and watching them forge ahead with their school work as their teachers valiantly try to reteach material and principles that were taught on-line and which the boys have failed to grasp properly, makes me feel more appreciative of their teachers than ever.

Gregory finishes school today. It is his last day of a 14-year journey and it is all rather emotional for the boys and teachers. His preliminary examinations went very well and he achieved an average of 92% for all 7 of this subjects including AP maths. This is partly due to hard work on Gregory’s part, but a lot of credit must go to his excellent teachers who really went all out to help the boys achieve the best they could. Greg attended on-line and in personal tutorials and extra sessions to prepare for his exams and some of them were over weekends during his teachers personal time.

As part of his leaving experience, he was invited back to his old nursery school, which forms part of his current school campus, and his old pre-preparatory school. How lovely it was to walk those corridors again and see the small desks and sinks, the art rooms and to find Greg’s handprint from when he was a 5-year old boy.

I believe that teachers are one of the most important professional groups in our society. They give children purpose, help prepare them to be successful citizens of our world, and help to inspire them to achieve and succeed both at school and in life.

A teacher imparts knowledge, good values, traditions and helps youngsters recognise modern challenges and overcome them.

The role of teachers is often underplayed and misunderstood with parents and others thinking they get lots of free time in the afternoons and during school holidays. This believe is certainly unfounded as every teacher I’ve ever known works a full day and more. They all teach extra murals and many offer extra tuition for students that struggle. Many of the teachers at my sons school are also involved in a community education programme and teach children from less privileged schools and backgrounds during part of their afternoons. Teachers also do a lot of marking and lesson preparation and that takes up a lot of their evenings and holidays. In summary, teaching is not a part-time job.

One of the toughest parts of teaching is teaching children from all sorts of homes and backgrounds about using their imaginations, creativity and challenging them to develop consistency, good work ethics, empathy and emotional intelligence.

I have met a number of wonderful teachers in the blogosphere and I appreciate them all for the wonderful teachers they are. Once a teacher, always a teacher, it’s not really something you stop doing as it is a part of your nature and behaviour patterns.

I am going to end this post by sharing a YouTube video about a special teacher, Jennie Fitzkee, who is a great champion of reading out loud and appeared recently on the Kelly Clarkson show. Bravo to Jennie for helping share the word about the importance of reading and thank you to Kelly Clarkson for raising the reading banner so high.

Here is link to the video: https://www.facebook.com/KellyClarksonShow/videos/1119312005268883

About Robbie Cheadle

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Robbie Cheadle is a South African children’s author and poet with 9 children’s books and 2 poetry books.

The 7 Sir Chocolate children’s picture books, co-authored by Robbie and Michael Cheadle, are written in sweet, short rhymes which are easy for young children to follow and are illustrated with pictures of delicious cakes and cake decorations. Each book also includes simple recipes or biscuit art directions which children can make under adult supervision.

Robbie has also published 2 books for older children which incorporate recipes that are relevant to the storylines.

Robbie has 2 adult novels in the paranormal historical and supernatural fantasy genres published under the name Roberta Eaton Cheadle. She also has short stories in the horror and paranormal genre and poems included in several anthologies.

Robbie writes a monthly series for https://writingtoberead.com called Growing Bookworms. This series discusses different topics relating to the benefits of reading to children.

Robbie has a blog, https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/ where she shares book reviews, recipes, author interviews, and poetry.

Find Robbie Cheadle

Blog: https://www.robbiecheadle.co.za/

Blog: robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com

Twitter: BakeandWrite

Instagram: Robbie Cheadle – Instagram

Facebook: Sir Chocolate Books

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85 Comments on “Growing Bookworms – The importance of teachers”

  1. Reblogged this on Robbie's inspiration and commented:

    My Growing Bookworms article this month is about the importance of teachers. My boys have had the most wonderful teachers and I know a lot of fantastic and dedicated teachers through my blog. This is a tribute to all those wonderful people. Thank you, Kaye Lynne Booth, for hosting me.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Toni Pike says:

    Such a moving article, Robbie – there have been so many unbelievable challenges for teachers and children over the last eighteen months. Toni x

    Liked by 2 people

  3. My daughter-in-law is a teacher and often is still up at midnight planning lessons. Good post!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. marianbeaman says:

    You are to be applauded bragging on teachers. You also have bragging rights for your son Gregory. Cheers to the Cheadles and to their high esteem for education and using the imagination! 😀

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Norah says:

    It is lovely to hear your appreciation for your son’s teachers and for teachers in general, Robbie. I know they will appreciate your words of support. Often their hard work is taken for granted and often not remarked upon, but it really is a job of the heart that isn’t left behind when the classroom door is closed at the end of the day.
    Congratulations to Gregory on his wonderful achievement – a joint effort that included himself, his family and his teachers. Great job!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Staci Troilo says:

    As with any vocation, there is a spectrum. My kids had lousy teachers, they had middle-of-the-road teachers, and they had teachers who should have been lauded from mountaintops. I wish all teachers were of the third variety; it would make such a positive difference. A great teacher’s value is immeasurable. So nice of you to take the time to point that out and celebrate them.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I disliked teach-to-the-middle teachers, Staci. The first year I taught kindergarten, I had a Jamaican student – the first in the entire school. Her eyes were bright and alert, knew all the alphabet and number when all the other kids didn’t. I prepared separate teaching material for her. When I taught third grade and had her in my class again, I had her tested in the GATE program. Her mom was appreciative. Years later, I found out that Mayshell’s grandma was a principal in Jamaica and her mom graduated with a chemistry degree. I had all three girls from the same family. The second girl was also tested GATE. By the time the third girl came to my class, the GATE coordinator said she didn’t have to be tested because it ran in the family.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Staci, I am sure there are less dedicated teachers out there, it is the same in all professions, but there are a great deal of amazing teachers and that is very heart warming. They really do make a difference in the lives of the children they teach. After doing home schooling for about 6 months all in, I am really grateful to people who dedicate their lives to teaching.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Anyone who goes into the teaching profession believing it’s an easy, part-time gig will be in for a rude awakening. Teachers are overworked, underpaid and often unappreciated. Thank you for spotlighting the important role they play in our children’s future, Robbie.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Jill, what you have said is quite correct and it often pains me that our world is so skewed with the most important people like teachers, nurses, firefighters, etc. being underpaid and underrated. I am very grateful for the teachers I had in my life and for those who have helped my own children on their paths to learning success.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Darlene says:

    A great article. Teachers as so valuable and a good teacher is worth their weight in gold! My life would be so different if it weren´t for some amazing teachers. Thanks for posting the link to Jennie Fitzkee´s appearance on The Kelly Clarkson show. It was the only one I was able to view. She is one special teacher.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. memadtwo says:

    I couldn’t agree more Robbie. Teachers are undervalued and underappreciated. My daughter had many excellent ones, as did I. And congratulations to Gregory for a job well done. (K)

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Jim Borden says:

    wonderful post, Robbie. I agree that teachers play a key role in either furthering or creating a love of learning in children. It is a challenging job (I see it first hand with my wife, who is a pre-school teacher), but so rewarding. Congrats to Gregory on his outstanding performance on the exams. That must have been quite a trip down memory lane when he went to visit his old nursery school…

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Jim, I taught for 7 years at our local Sunday School and I loved the children, especially the small ones. It is very rewarding. It is tougher to teach teenagers, especially those who are having a tough time at home. I am amazed by the dedication and determination that I see among teachers, especially over this dreadful covid period.

      Liked by 2 people

  11. What a proud mom you are, Robbie! I’m so impressed and happy to see Greg did well with the test. His teachers and you worked very hard to help him succeed. But he has to have the capability to do the work. What an incredible thing to visit the nursery and see the handprint he made when he was 4 or 5. I still have Mercy’s handprint. Thank you for sharing this beautiful and heartwarming post, Robbie.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Miriam, you are one of the remarkable people in the teaching world I was alluding too. I know that you would have made an incredible mark on all those who engaged with you. I am proud of Greg, he is a smart boy and has put his talents to good use through hard work.

      Liked by 1 person

      • In counselings, I learned that 30% of our personality is born with and 70% is by influence. I would say the same about our intelligence. Without nurturing and development, the raw intelligence doesn’t go too far. I’m happy that Greg is smart. With your guidance, teachers’ instructions, and his work, he’ll make a difference in the world. Congratulations to you, Robbie.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Kudos to Gregory! What a future this young man has AND all because he has created it for himself!! I agree that teachers are remarkable beings. Mentors, friends, way-showers, and more. I have many fond memories of those who were particularly influential in helping me find my way through the education jungle. Even when I attended Trade School in my late twenties, the teachers were amazing.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. frenchc1955 says:

    Hi Robbie, this is a wonderful post!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. frenchc1955 says:

    Reblogged this on charles french words reading and writing and commented:
    Here is a wonderful post on the importance of teachers by Robbie Cheadle!

    Liked by 2 people

  15. frenchc1955 says:

    Hi Robbie, Somehow I didn’t know of this blog.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Charles, Writing to be Read is a great blog run by Kaye Lynne Booth. I write three articles a months for this site, one about reading and writing with children, one about poetry, and one about the dark origins of popular stories and nursery rhymes. Kaye’s blog has given me the opportunity to investigate a different and more article styled post which I enjoy.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Welcome Charles! Robbie is a valued contributor here on Writing to be Read. .We very much enjoy her posts here. I hope you will visit more often now that you have found Writing to be Read.

      Like

  16. Congratulations for Gregory on his achievements! High marks and test scores do not come easy. I couldn’t agree more about the importance of teachers in our society. In the US, the job is becoming more and more difficult and demanding because the public schools are now expected to deal with all of the social ills that negatively impact a child’s ability to learn.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Liz, it is difficult for teachers to deal with societal ills in the classroom, but I expect they have always had to do so. I remember reading a book called To Sir, With Love when I was in high school about a teacher in a low income area who had to deal with a lot of his students difficulties. Teachers are very important and I wish they were paid accordingly.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I think the difference now is that public education as an institution is expected to address these various ills systemically (and not being given the funding to do so). You’re right that individual teachers have been dealing with these problems in the classroom for years.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Hi Liz, this is the kind of thing that really pains me. Michael went to a remedial school for 5 years and it was geared up to help the children with their learning barriers. I could not have achieved success with Michael on my own, I just don’t have the knowledge and skills. This type of assistance is specialised and does require funding and dedicated teachers.

          Liked by 2 people

        • For a number of years, I worked with students who were going to college become special education teachers. What an eye-opening experience that was about the knowledge and skills required to teach mild to severe learning challenges! My niece teaches children at the nonverbal end of the spectrum, which is even more challenging, but she loves it.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Hi Liz, I have helped both my sons learn to read. Greg was relatively easy, Michael more challenging. I still help Michael study for all his tests except for maths [quite beyond me at this level] for which we have a tutor. One size fits many, but not all, and I have kids that would not have flourished in an ‘aim an arrow in the middle’ style teaching approach. Greg would have become very bored and Michael would have been lost. I am very happy I have been able to find the right academic homes for each of them.

          Liked by 2 people

        • My daughter also excels in math. I remember when I could no longer help her with her math homework. She was in the sixth grade, and she was outraged! I know in recent years there has been work on the relationship between literacy and numeracy, which I think could benefit children regardless of their particular stregnths and weaknesses.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Haha, Liz, sixth grade was more or less when I lost the maths plot too. I was competent at maths, a solid 70s percenter. I excelled at history, English and, strangely, accounting. Today, I do very complex accounting and transactions and I think my literary competency and creativity helps me a lot.

          Liked by 1 person

  17. petespringerauthor says:

    Thank you for writing this post, Robbie. I can tell you that there is nothing more discouraging from a teacher’s perspective than to bust your butt, often making personal financial and time sacrifices to help one’s students, only to be criticized by others who have no idea of all of the things teachers do behind the scenes. I would equate it to the same feeling that a parent might have if they feel taken for granted.

    While teachers deserve mention, I know that your sons are doing well because you and your husband emphasized education. The boys also deserve tons of credit for their hard work. That self-discipline will serve them well. You may also be surprised when Michael suddenly blossoms and becomes a much better student as he gets older. All kids are different and go at their own pace. Our son was that way a bit. He was a good student who got by on his natural intelligence, but he became a much better student as he matured.

    I have met so many fabulous teachers through the blogosphere, and Jennie is undoubtedly one of those. I’m working on a piece about her right now.

    Please celebrate the end of a school year with your hard-working sons.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Pete, thank you for joining in this conversation. You are another person I had in mind when I wrote this. Greg is hard working and has a great work ethic. Michael isn’t bad and is getting there. I didn’t deliberately exclude Mike from this post, it is just that Greg finishing high school is a huge landmark in all our lives. Mike’s turn will come. Hugs.

      Liked by 2 people

      • petespringerauthor says:

        I understood it was Greg’s turn to shine. I know how rewarding it is as a parent to look at your young children and think, “Hmm, we did something pretty good here.” Our son lives more than a thousand miles away from us, but he’s good about calling us every week or so. He rarely calls for advice (partly I think it’s a pride thing), but I LOVE that he wants to take care of business himself. It’s his way of wanting to be an adult, and I can totally respect that.

        Liked by 1 person

  18. Such true words. That connection between reading and academic success, life success, is undenable. Jennie’s video and experience were wonderful.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Jacqui, certainly if you can’t read well it inhibits learning hugely. Even for maths, reading the question and understanding it is essential. Jennie is amazing and so are people in the academic would like you, Charles, Norah, Pete, and many others.

      Liked by 2 people

  19. Congratulations to Gregory! I now have seen, in South Africa you also have school uniforms. I wasn’t so familiar with that before. But still a great thing. This enduring virus thing is horrible for all the students. Thank you for the very moving post, Robbie! Best wishes, Michael

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Michael, all the school children here in South Africa wear uniforms. I am a fan of uniforms at school, it removes the competitive clothing element and makes everyone equal which is better for learning in my opinion. Our teachers have been splendid over this pandemic time and I’ve also had to step up more, as all parents must have had to do. I makes me more grateful for the teachers.

      Liked by 2 people

  20. Congratulations to Greg, Robbie. I can tell you are a proud, Mom. It is wonderful when we can see the hard work of our young ones pay off.

    And it is wonderful that you have good and caring teachers in South Africa. I believe that teachers are undervalued and underpaid in most places of the world, so they have to be caring to stay in it for the long haul.

    Excellent post. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Congratulations to Greg, Robbie and he clearly takes after his Mom with a wonderful work ethic and attention to detail. Great mark for his leaving exams and I am sure a very successful future ahead of him. It has been tough on children and apart from the isolation and the different format ot learning they have missed out on so much social interaction that offers another important learning opportunity.. Lovely post… hugsxx

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Jennie says:

    Robbie, this post was powerful about education, all Gregory has accomplished, and the hard work teachers do. I am always interested in learning about eduction in South Africa. How wonderful that he had a ‘walk down memory lane’, visiting his preschool class and more. Congratulations on your graduation, Gregory! Yes, teachers play a big part in a child’s education. It’s a big job. Thank you so much for the shout-out about me on The Kelly Clarkson Show! I was thrilled to bring education and reading aloud to a national audience.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Jennie, it was a wonderful show and I appreciate all that you do to encourage and promote reading. Thank you for your kind comments about Gregory. Next week I’ll share a bit about his valediction with was a lovely occasion. He won the IT award, with two other boys and received a citation for academic excellence.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Jennie says:

        I’m so glad you enjoyed the show, Robbie. You must be over the moon about Gregory’s achievements. My words were sincere. I look forward to more next week. How exciting and rewarding!

        Liked by 2 people

  23. Susan Scott says:

    Firstly, congratulations to Gregory for doing so well at school, Robbie. I agree, the role of the teacher in a child’s school life cannot be overlooked for its importance. It truly deserves better pay, better working hours, better acknowledgement. And the training of teachers could be better – . Teaching is a vocation, like nursing, or medicine or music – and we need skilled teachers to bring out the best in our children. It’s pretty clear what a good education – and a bad one – can do.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Susan, you are right and Greg and Mike are very privileged to attend what is arguably the best all boys school in the country. Admittedly, you still have to grab the proverbial academic bull by the horns to achieve the best you can. The school syllabus is no joke now, you cannot excel without working hard.

      Liked by 2 people

  24. Prior... says:

    Teachers really do make the world a better place

    Liked by 2 people

  25. […] Head over to read the rest of this excellent post on both students and teachers who have supported them particularly in the last 18 months: Growing Bookworms – The importance of teachers […]

    Liked by 2 people

  26. Congrats to Greg on reaching this amazing accomplishment, Robbie. From here, the road is open for him to choose his life’s path- exciting!

    Liked by 2 people

  27. CarolCooks2 says:

    A lovely post Robbie…I do think that teachers play a huge role in our children’s education and you are right to give praise and recognise their commitment. However, it also comes from within a child and is down as well to good parenting so take a bow, Robbie as you have played your part also…Hugs and congratulations all round xx

    Liked by 2 people

    • HI Carol, thank you for your comment, Carol. I agree that parents play a role in guiding their children to be responsible and dedicated students and the personality of the child also has its place in learning and achievement. Teachers do lay the foundations for understanding and interest in various subjects and that contributes greatly towards the learners attitudes towards schools and specific subjects. Gregory has developed a deep enjoyment of maths and that is definitely due to the skill and dedication of his maths teacher.

      Liked by 1 person

  28. dgkaye says:

    Great post Robbie. Teachers have certainly had to adapt fast, not only changing teaching methods but having to put up with unfamiliar technologies too. Congrats to your son, a lovely story. And Jennie is a star! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  29. olganm says:

    Although I don’t have any children, I couldn’t agree more. I have a few friends who have been teachers for a long time, and they are totally dedicated and hardworking. And I know first-hand what a difference a good teacher makes. It sounds as if Greg had a great time. Congratulations!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Olga, I am glad to know you’ve also had good experiences with teachers. I must admit that my children have had excellent teachers all the way through their schooling. Thanks for visiting and commenting.

      Like


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