What can we learn from Tyrion about Teaching?

Like most, I am completely hooked on Game of Thrones! If you haven't seen my other Game of Thrones inspired post, check it out - 12 Game of Thrones Teachers You See in Every School. One of my favourite characters in the series has to be Tyrion. People have such little faith in him. Yet he is constantly proving people wrong and challenging their misconceptions about him.

He is almost the perfect metaphor for teachers as it seems the 'powers that be' have a similar faith in teachers. But we are constantly proving them wrong. This weekend, social media has been flooded with positive messages for teachers and students in preparation for the upcoming SATs that are asking A LOT from children, to say the least! Let these thoughts from Tyrion inspire you to get you through this week and motivate you to keep doing the amazing job you do day in day out. 

"You love your children. It's your one redeeming quality; that and your cheekbones."

Now, I am not saying that this is your only redeeming quality as a teacher, you will have plenty! But the love and care you show your pupils will be up there. I love the way he links her beauty with it;  there is no harm in being a great teacher and looking fabulous at the same time too!

"Everything's better with some wine in the belly."
Again, I am not trying to encourage teachers to turn to the bottle but try to take some time to relax, away from work and enjoy time with friends, family or just chilling out yourself. You will benefit, your pupils will and colleagues will too. If that isn't a possibility, remember with marking it IS always better with some wine in the belly. 

"Well, my brother has his sword, and I have my mind. And a mind needs books like a sword needs a whetstone. That's why I read so much, Jon Snow."

Knowledge is power! We constantly encourage children to read and read for pleasure so set that example. In this day and age, reading comes in so many different forms. I found I am reading more than ever before because of the internet. Finding new ideas and resources through twitter and facebook and reading other teacher's blog posts has not only made me a better writer (I hope) but also improved my practice massively. 

"I am the gift."

You are a gift. A special gift to the pupils in your class and the staff in your school. You may not realise now but you are the most important tool in your classroom. No textbook, poster, app or device can replace an effective teacher. And you are an effective teacher. 

"A very small man can cast a very large shadow."

I know this quote didn't come from Tyrion however it shows that the impact a teacher can have on their students can last a lifetime. I still remember particular teachers who inspired and opened a whole world to me and I am forever thankful. To have the opportunity to do the same for other young ones is so powerful.

"Never forget what you are. The rest of the world will not. Wear it like armour, and it can never be used to hurt you."

 Even when things get tough, the pressure of SATs, Ofsted or another worry gets you to question yourself and your ability, remember why you became a teacher. Be proud of that, be proud of what you have done in your life that has taken you down the path of teaching and believe in yourself that you made the right decision.

While we are talking about SATs and Ofsted and that...

"It's hard to put a leash on a dog once you've put a crown on its head"

I think that this pretty much says what it needs to. Having people who have never worked in a classroom make decisions about education is the reason why things are the way they are at the minute.
I think this goes beyond Education too!

"I'm not particularly good at violence, but I'm good at convincing other people to do violence for me."

You will be familiar with the phrase: Those who can, do; those who can't, teach. However, how many of those who 'do' are doing it because of a great teacher who believed and inspired them? Don't get me wrong, I am by no means an expert in every area of the curriculum but effective teachers can still raise the expectations of their pupils to a level beyond their own and that is a unique skill in itself.

"I'll lead the attack!"

The moment Tyrion saved Kingslanding from the Baratheon army. Make sure you grow as a teacher, when things go well, share. Look after new members of staff and support them as much as you can. Remember, you were once in that place needing a more experienced teacher to have belief in you. Be prepared to lead and lead with confidence by being there on the frontline!

"Death is so final, yet life is full of possibilities."
Focus on the positives. Set that example. If you come into class with a smile on your face you are more likely to get the same reaction from your pupils. 

Thanks for reading and good luck with everything over the next couple of weeks.


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