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Fresh Egg Celebrates World Teachers Day

Last weekend a group of friends and I were discussing what we would do differently if we could go back to school, knowing what we know now as adults. What advice would we give our 13 year-old-selves knowing what a gift our education really is? How would we now do it differently or even what would we want to keep exactly as it was?

At Fresh Egg, like most businesses, many of us are parents so we realise the value in education and, where we can, give back as much as we can. Recently a few of us supported a local secondary school by acting as mentors during an Apprentice style development day for students. At the end of an incredible and thoroughly enjoyable day, I think it was safe to say we had all found a new level of admiration for the quality of education that’s now available to students and also the teachers that dedicate their lives to inspiring and crafting young minds before launching them into the big wide world.

An 11 year old me.

My favourite teacher was Mr Frost. He taught me in year 5, so I was 10/11. Like most teachers he had a bit of a uniform – his choice was thick cords and he always smelt a bit like Savlon (sorry Mr Frost if you are reading this!). But that’s not the only thing I remember about Mr Frost – he used to inspire the class by changing up the learning environment to something a little different – making things more interactive to try and hold the attention of 32 fidgety 11 year olds.

  • He once brought in one of his chickens. Did you know that chickens actually lay a little practice egg before cracking on with the real thing? Well, I didn’t but, thanks to Mr Frost and his chicken, I will do forever more. So, what did this teach me? I learnt the importance of always preparing for big events with a draft or practice run. Not that I lay eggs, of course, but any big presentation or meeting will always benefit from 1 or 2 rehearsals, either as a group or on your own, before taking on the real thing.
  • Mr. Frost once took us to a graveyard to get inspiration for our poems. I ended up writing about autumn - I felt the temperature, heard the crackles and saw all the vibrant hues of the autumn leaves with the last remaining speckles of green poking through. The graveyard itself then inspired me to describe autumn as a human being. Never one for boasting, but I actually won a prize with that poem which my Dad still has up on the wall in the old family home. What did I learn from that? By taking the time to really engage with and experience what you’re trying to achieve, rather than just going through the motions, you will nearly always reap the benefits and reward (and maybe a certificate given to you in assembly in front of the whole school!).
  • Mr. Frost played the piano, the guitar and ran the school choir and orchestra (both of which I joined of course – I know, I know … was there no end to this 11 year old girls talents????). We used to rehearse during lunch times, as coordinating 50 kids to attend after school or weekends was a logistical nightmare for Mr Frost (remembering there was no Doodle back then). Once I got over the fact I missed out on the lunchtime gossip and dodging boys in the playground, this taught me that occasionally giving up your precious lunch break, or any personal time, can be really rewarding, especially when you walk away knowing you’ve developed.
  • Like all teachers, he occasionally got cross. Not just cross - livid in fact. Once he broke a metre stick by banging it so hard on the table. Why, you ask? Well, he was so passionate about what he did that this passion distorted itself into anger and frustration with some students who he knew could excel if they paid more attention (if only they could have a word with their 35-year-old selves). Passion, to that level, can’t be faked or forced. If it’s there, it’s innate and, out of all the teachers, Mr Frost had it in abundance.

Well done Mr Frost. A ton of life lessons you probably didn’t even intend to give me.

I asked a few folk around the office about their teachers and what they have learnt from them. Interestingly, the knowledge taken away wasn’t Pythagoras theorem and the Oxford comma; it’s all behaviours and qualities.

Teachers, all of us here at Fresh Egg salute you for shaping so many of us into who we are today.

My favourite teacher, Mrs Broad, a child development teacher as well as the deputy head. The reason she was my favourite is because she treated each one of us with respect. Her lessons were always full of knowledge but also, she created an engaging environment where you would want to strive. Thanks to Mrs Broad I found my love for care and was fortunate to work in a care home and provide support and wellbeing to other people. I also got put on a homework ban as I had done too much coursework! I certainly thought she was a cool teacher then.

Jasmin Portillo – Resource Coordinator

My favourite teacher was Mrs Bull. She was my first teacher at primary school and at that age made quite an impression! She created a safe and comfortable environment where she encouraged everyone to be creative and learn at the level that suited them. I particularly remember her patience and calmness that didn't make anyone feel silly, or that they were 'behind' the others. Her ethos of teaching us that everyone develops and learns at different levels - some more creatively than others - was fundamental to understanding not to put yourself under unnecessary pressure, that I unfortunately feel the children of today can suffer with.

Pip Stafford - Founder and Director

Favourite Teacher - I'm going with my old headmaster, Mr Sexton. Probably had the biggest impact on me in terms of setting an example of leadership: being accessible, giving feedback, building confidence.

David Edmondson – Finance and Operations Director

Mr Oaks, my PE teacher in secondary school. He taught me that you can win the respect of kids by talking to them on the same level as adults.

Duncan Heath – Strategy Director

Mr Brown – Drama. Says a lot I know!

Maria Portillo – Head of Client Delivery

Miss Bruno in year 2. She called all the boys by girls names and vice versa. At first we thought it was quite funny and now looking back I see what hard work she put in so that we'd all feel equal. She was the only teacher that encouraged me and my friend to play football. She taught me that I didn't have to behave based on gender but who I was and I hope I told her she was great enough. (I was Kevin for anyone wondering)

Katie Tucker – Web developer

My favourite teach was Mr Horlock, he impressed upon us the importance of self-discovery, how learning for one's self is so much more rewarding. For me this has led to a lifetime of fact-finding and constantly wanting to know more about anything and everything. Any spare time (few and far between) he would read to us as a class generally, at our request, Roald, Dahl. This gave me an appreciation for the written word that I have carried with me, an invaluable passion. His teaching was about every angle of learning. I wish every teacher I had through my school career could have been just like him.

Laura Wingrove – Marketing project manager

Mr 'Hutch' Hutchison, years 9-11. He taught me that even the most complicated ideas can be explained in simple terms and that they're of little value to anyone if they can't. He also never pretended he had all the answers and wasn't afraid to admit it, so we all felt we could ask him anything.

Michael Gray – Senior Biddable Advisor

Mr Lawrenson, science teacher. He showed that learning could be fun by teaching in engaging ways and through his own enjoyment of the subject. One example - a lesson on chemical reactions to heat demonstrated by cooking bacon with a Bunsen burner. Although, these days I mostly just remember the bacon...

Mark Chalcraft - SEO