There is no system in the world or any school in the country that’s better than its teachers. Teachers are the lifeblood of the success of the schools, but teaching is a creative profession. Teaching properly conceived is not a delivery system. You’re not there just to pass on received information. Great teachers do that, but what great teachers also do is mentor, stimulate, provoke, engage.

Sir Ken Robinson discussing how vital teachers are to an education system.

My own education was a fairly rocky ride, but what stands out—what made a difference and actually helped me learn—are specific teachers.

Mrs. Thompson spending time with me after class. She talked to me about Shakespeare and the Bronte sisters. But she also gently explained that although my idealism was admirable that I might find that pragmatism has its virtues, too.

Mr. Chapman letting the whole Physics class spend two days on an experiment of their choice. I got a C. The experiment I ran on supersaturated solutions went well, but I did the experiment on my own. No one else was interested in supersaturated solutions, but part of the experiment was to work in a team.