It’s funny the things we keep hold of, isn’t it? After a little chat with an author in a social media group I’m part of, where she mentioned an English teacher who inspired her to keep going, I remembered an inspiring person of my own, who also happened to be an English teacher.

Ms Clifton was an energetic little woman who always reminded me of Dawn French in both her voice and mannerisms. She often wore colourful baggy trousers that reminded us all of MC Hammer, but she was also one of our lovliest teachers with a passion for English.

One of our pre-exam tasks was to write a short story on any subject we wanted, whether it be fiction or non-fiction. I’d written short stories up until that point in my spare time, mostly about animals (think Disney style) but I had a real love of the supernatural, and had only recently at that point discovered Wuthering Heights after watching the film with Laurence Olivier and Merle Oberon. So I decided to write a short vampire story set amongst the Yorkshire Moors.

It was the first story I’d let anyone other than friends or family read and I was terrified!

But Ms Clifton’s feedback was so inspiring, it made me realise I may actually be good at something!

I was immensely grateful for her words, and to this day I still have the original short story stored away in a little folder with her fading pencil marks. It’s something I know I’ll never throw away… the impact of a great teacher!

Have you had someone who inspired your love of reading or writing, or who maybe encouraged you into a career in something others frowned on?

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Until next time,