Journalist and author Peter Nyman recalls his primary school teacher with a warm feeling. Encouragement from his teacher, along with cinefilm movies, sparked an interest to learn more about history, geography and culture when he was only a child. Petri saw his teachers also as fatherly figures who provided him with valuable support even during his wild teenage years.
Peter Nyman says that he will forever remember his primary school class teacher. He was a fatherly, kind and good-willed teacher who encouraged and coached his pupils to do their best. Through his own attitude, the teacher inspired his students to learn and pursue their education.
Peter Nyman's primary school class teacher was a fatherly, kind and good-willed teacher who encouraged and coached his pupils to do their best.
Nyman vividly remembers how the teacher, who had seen the world, showed cinefilm movies and Italian black-and-white motion pictures from the 1950s in class. They made a big impression on Nyman, evoking a strong attraction towards Mediterranean culture.
“Those were influential times. My teachers’ stories opened the door to a whole new world I wouldn’t have otherwise encountered in Finland in the 1970s,” Nyman says.
Even small moments can have lifelong effects
Peter Nyman believes that even a single brief moment when a teacher engages their student can have lifelong effects.
Nyman remembers one such moment in particular. Class was in session and the teacher asked the students when Columbus arrived in America. They hadn’t had history lessons yet then, but Nyman happened to know the correct answer and raised his hand.
“1492,” Nyman said, and the teacher commended him for remembering the correct year. Nyman feels that this moment was a spark of sorts that led him to continue studying history, and history is still a dear hobby and passion for him.
A teacher offers support and comfort in addition to education
In addition to education, teachers have also had another important role in Nyman’s life. Besides his class teacher, one such figure was his upper secondary school PE teacher.
“I came from a broken home and my father lived in another city. I think that my class teacher, and later my PE teacher, provided me with a sort of fatherly figure and coach at the time I maybe most needed it. Lower secondary school was an especially challenging time, and support from my teacher had an important role in those days – in fact, so important that I still cherish it to this day.”
Support from my teacher had an important role in those days – in fact, so important that I still cherish it to this day.
Through his own experiences, Nyman thinks that it is crucial for the children and young people of today to also have competent and inspiring teachers.
”I was lucky enough to have encountered competent and inspiring teachers through all levels of education, from primary school to university. I don’t even want to imagine a Finland without teachers. In my opinion, education and the lessons from our teachers are the cornerstone for everything else. It makes us readier as individuals and citizens. We are children of the enlightenment, and the majority of that foundation is laid by the teachers.”
I was lucky enough to have encountered competent and inspiring teachers through all levels of education, from primary school to university. I don’t even want to imagine a Finland without teachers.
Any time a teacher praises a child at the right moment may turn out for them to be the push needed to start pursuing their passion, profession or hobby. This is what happened to Nyman and it can happen to anyone.
“Every word of praise and encouragement is important. Encouragement you get when you’re young can carry you a long a way into your adulthood.”