I have just spent 4 days talking to children in two of our great local secondary schools: Waldegrave School and Hampton Academy. Over four days I have spoken to nearly 500 children in small groups varying in size from 10 to 30 students.
I think – I hope – that my talks make a small positive difference to most of the students. And I suspect that for one or two students each year, my visit makes a big difference. But it is impossible to tell. However during my visit, one of the teachers overheard a comment from one of the girls to whom I had spoken that morning. She said,
“That man is amazing!”
And their science teacher was kind enough to write it on a card for me. It made me smile: the only feedback I believe is that which arrives randomly and anonymously. And it is nice to be appreciated. But actually I should have given similar cards to the teachers I met. Being a teacher for a day with boxes of solid carbon dioxide and liquid nitrogen is really quite easy. Being a teacher day after day after day without cryogenic aids is not so easy – and the teachers at these schools were truly amazing, but IMHO, rather under-appreciated.