“Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow.” – Anthony J. D’Angelo
When being asked to write a blog about the subjects I love to teach, I began looking back over my days in education, from a timid Primary School kid to a confident Master’s graduate and self-confessed Shakespeare ‘addict’. It got me thinking as to why literature and language, theatre and the arts have become such a part of who I am. While there is no single answer to this question, there is one thing, or should I say person, who keeps springing to mind: a lady that I will always know as ‘Miss Williamson’.
Miss Williamson was my English Teacher through Secondary School, and, in a wonderful way, as mad as a box of frogs. Bursting into our classroom every April and getting us to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to Shakespeare; jumping up and down reciting the mantra that ‘there is no hidden meaning’ in poetry, and never being able to tell us the ending to Oscar Wilde’s Happy Prince without being overcome with emotion – these were just a small handful of the more ‘eccentric’ things I remember from my days in her classroom.
‘Of course you will remember that’, I hear you say. Well, yes it’s true – it is hard to forget!
However, the main reason I remember Miss Williamson is because she taught me that if you love what you do, and pursue your passions, then you will enjoy life to its fullest.
For me, she opened the gateway to English Literature, using her love for the subject to show me that it was not intimidating, not complicated, not above my head, but full of beautiful imagery, wonderful stories, essential to human nature, and something to get lost in. Funnily enough, this is something that Mr William Shakespeare also imparted throughout his works:
‘The art itself is nature.’ – The Winter’s Tale
‘All the world’s a stage’ – As You Like It
‘The purpose of playing…is, to hold, as t’were, the mirror up to nature’ – Hamlet
So, why is this all relevant to your education, and indeed my tutoring? Because, having a teacher who is passionate about their subject not only guides you to understand the literature, the imagery, the language, but furthermore embeds a love for the subject within you from a young age, thus opening the door to achievement and endless opportunities in the future. Visit our tutoring pages here.
By approaching her subject in such a way, we became naturally comfortable in approaching all forms of literature, from Shakespeare to Milton, Austen to Atwood. As a result, I not only succeeded in the subject, but was consistently inspired to delve further into it. Following secondary school, I studied English Literature & Philosophy at University, followed by another year specialising in Shakespeare Studies to achieve a Master’s in the subject. Since then, my passion for the arts has never faded and I am not only working in a creative environment full time, but always getting lost in a good book or play. Furthermore, I enjoy sparking this passion in others who are still lucky enough to be studying English, and I always look forward to exploring the nuances of the English Language and Literature all over again with them.
On a final note; one sentiment that consistently rings true for me is something that Henry Adam’s once said:
‘A teacher affects eternity, he can never tell where his influence ends’
Whether this teacher for you is Williamson or William Shakespeare, Albert Einstein or Isaac Newton, Lawrence Olivier or Brad Pitt, David Beckham or Wayne Rooney: Enjoy being taught. Be inspired to learn. Pursue the subjects you love. Flourish in a career you choose.