Looking through some old photos I came across this one of my husband Dave taken in 2010 when we were teaching in Hong Kong. A new athletic field had just been built at our international school, made possible by a large donation from a wealthy patron.The day the new field was dedicated many high-profile friends of the patron gathered for the ceremony. Part of the agenda was a tour of the school so all the visitors could see our teachers and students in action. Dave was taking a year off from regular classroom teaching in the high school, but he was doing lots of substituting. That day he happened to be substitute teaching in a grade one class. Don’t you think the visitors chose to pause at his door and watch the class in action. The photographer covering publicity for the day photographed Dave and it was his photo that was featured in all the media associated with dedication of the athletic field at our school.
It is sort of like the day he was substituting for the very first time in the three-year old class on the kindergarten campus, when the door opened and in walked four Hong Kong Education Institute student teachers to spend the day with him and learn about teaching kindergarten. Non-pulsed Dave put them to work at various activity centres. I wonder if they even knew he’d never taught three-year olds before?
Perhaps the key to Dave’s success in the classroom at any grade level could be attributed to something he said when he was being interviewed for the school paper just before we left our jobs in Hong Kong. One of the young journalists asked Dave, “And what are all the different subjects you have taught Mr. Driedger?” Dave replied, “I don’t teach subjects- I teach students. “