In 1995, October 5th¬†was proclaimed to be World Teachers‚Äô Day by UNESCO‚Äìa day set aside to celebrate teachers and all that they do for their pupils. This year, World Teachers‚Äô Day arrives three weeks after Roald Dahl‚Äôs 100th birthday. As a creator of teachers good and bad, it is hard not to make the link between these two events.
In the often gruesome world of Roald Dahl, teachers represent one type of adult, yet come in a range of shapes, sizes and deed. Be they sweet and caring like Miss Honey, violent and cruel like Miss Trunchbull, or secret witches waiting to pounce, they are the ones that fill Matilda‚Äôs days with books or the chokey, or appear in Luke‚Äôs hunt for witches among us.
In his creation of weird and wonderful tales, Roald Dahl understood the central role that teachers play in the lives of children, and like Matilda, our relationship with them may be complicated and at times fraught, yet some teachers have a lasting impact on us as we grow up and become adults.
We all have a Miss Honey somewhere along the line, a teacher who builds us up through kind and encouraging words, to be remembered in desperate times even when we are old. And we all have a Miss Trunchbull. Yet, as I have grown older I have come to realise that sometimes the hard lessons and difficult times are as valuable as the times spent with the Miss Honeys of the world: I have begun to realise that maybe Miss Trunchbull had something to say after all‚Ä¶
‚ÄòMrs D, Mrs I, Mrs FFI, Mrs C, Mrs U, Mrs LTY. That spells difficulty.’
‚ÄòHow perfectly ridiculous!’ snorted Miss Trunchbull. ‘Why are all these women married?‚Äù
On World Teachers‚Äô Day, thank your lucky stars that you have had (and will have) both tender and terrifying teachers. You never know where inspiration will come from, and who will bring it to you!
Girl Museum Inc.