Once a Teacher…


Once a Teacher…

After more than thirty years of teaching – passing on the intricacies of arithmetic, explaining the wonders of algebra, illuminating the paradoxical properties of polygons – I am ready for a restful retirement. I have loved teaching, but it’s a tough job that needs courage and commitment.

At the kitchen window I sip my tea. In the Autumn sunshine birds are singing fit to burst, but somewhere out there I know towns are flooding, forests are burning. We are at war with our own world. And war needs courage – education, love, courage and commitment. We can’t ignore it.

Always a teacher…

Miranda 2019

It’s Friday already so I’m rocking up late at Friday Fiction. (It’s difficult to explain I know…) And as seems to happen these days the real world has intruded and I am all out of fiction.

Thanks to Roger Bultot for the strange and wonderful photo in which I immediately saw a polygon with all its external angles beautifully illuminated. You can take the teacher out of the school….I do still see Maths everywhere (and I do love a polygon!) but I also see other things outside my window these days and they feel more urgent.

Thanks as ever to Rochelle and to all the Friday crew.

20 thoughts on “Once a Teacher…

  1. I wish I could see math through your eyes. My world is English, history, geography, people. If I’d had someone like you as a teacher, maybe some of the math magic would have rubbed off on me 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a heartening vignette, Miranda. “Education, love, courage and commitment,” yeah, that’s about the size of it. Teaching is possibly the most important job in the world and, as a non-teacher, I take my hat off to all of you. You make the world a better place.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Penny! I hope I have played a part in helping my students set out into the world, but what is happening in that world now is so worrying. I think some young people have rightly become impatient and are teaching the teachers!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great, AWESOME take on the prompt. Words spoken in truth. Maybe, instead of fighting the world, we should learn to live “with” the world, protect the environment that gives us what our bodies need to survive.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Well written. Strangely, I was discussing my mostly forgotten maths with a friend last night, recalling how I used a handmade instrument to measure the height of buildings. I couldn’t recall the name of it – a protractor and a weighted string were involved.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I sat next to the president of an Oxford College recently (my Oxford college as it happens at a celebration of the fortieth anniversary of women being admitted but that’s another story…) and he recalled the exact same thing when I told him I taught Maths. You are describing how trigonometry should really be introduced – from a practical application. Sadly this doesn’t happen much nowadays. We all liked getting out and about even if the Maths didn’t always stick!


    • I am still teaching Maths, one-to-one in students homes nowadays, but I think some of those very students are telling us we need education of a different sort (and some of it literally out on the streets not in classrooms). We also need to educate our politicians, and quickly.
      I took part in some of the London climate demonstrations and found for me there is knowing about climate change and really knowing in a way that effects all aspects of my life, including my previous idea of a restful retirement!
      And of course there is the Swedish influence! Go Greta! A student who has changed the world, if we could only really wake up to it!


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