Behind door number fifteen you will find a text by Richard Gerver. Gerver currently lectures on education issues worldwide. He is a former teacher and he was an advisor on education to Tony Blair’s government.
My school days should have been idyllic; I was educated at a beautiful private school on the outskirts of London, it was a serene and privileged place; a bubble divorced from the real world but… It was highly academic and sporty. Unfortunately for me; I wasn’t, I was an artistic soul; passionate about drama, writing and art, which was tough when everyone around me just wanted to roll in the mud and become a doctor!
It got even tougher when my parent’s marriage broke down around the time of my 9th birthday. That as the straw that broke the camel’s back for me; I cracked, lost all of my confidence and self-esteem, started to stutter and even wet the bed; which when you are at boarding school, is extra tough!
Luckily, I had a teacher, David, who taught English. He took an interest in me, got to know me and tried to understand what made me tick; he knew that I was more than just the weird, shy kid. He introduced me to drama; believing that speaking someone else’s words would free me up from worrying what to say and how to say it. He was right, the stutter improved, I found a way to express my emotions in a safe way and I found a new passion. Something to feel good about, something I was good at… It changed my life; he changed my life and here I am now spending my days as a professional speaker, who would ever have believed it.
Sadly, David died before I had a chance to thank him personally; it is one of my greatest regrets but I was able to dedicate my last book to him;
To David Drew Smythe, for helping me to change the way I see the world.
Angels do exist… don’t they!
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