Reviews and comment from the Demon Crew - creative writers at De Montfort University, Leicester.

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Educating Leicester

As a self-proclaimed fan of Channel 4's documentary Educating Yorkshire, there was no doubt I would be sitting front and centre, awaiting the arrival of Mr. Burton and his former pupil Musharaf Asghar. Both found fame through the television program after the enthusiastic teacher helped his student overcome his stammer and begin public speaking with the use of music. As Mr. Burton told us, he initially got the idea after watching the film The King's Speech.

I expected the session to be about their experience of the programme but Mr. Burton took the opportunity to talk about the expectations of students today and the impact that a teacher can have. As a student I found his comments full of insight.  The way Mr Burton spoke to the audience sent me back to high school. It was almost as if I was sitting in a classroom, in front of that one really motivating teacher - the sort of teacher who your eyes follow because you don't want to miss a thing.

Matthew Burton truly entertained the audience throughout, inserting quick witty comments here and there. He began to talk about his and Musharaf's experience on the show describing how bizarre it was to be wearing a microphone all day - adding his initial thought of "Are they listening to me have a wee?" This drew much laughter from the room. He also interacted with the audience who responded to his enthusiasm.

A video clip from Educating Yorkshire showed the well-known encounter between Mr. Burton and Musharaf. Every so often Mr Burton paused the video to make comical comments on his former students. Although I'd seen the clip many times, I still found myself getting goosebumps. After this Musharaf stood and talked about how he now sees Mr. Burton as a father figure which I found very heartwarming. All too soon we were told they had run out of time and there were many disappointed faces around me.

As Mr. Burton pointed out he is "just a teacher that still gets stuck in traffic" but as I battled my way home through the wind and rain, I couldn't help feeling inspired.

Fern Steele

No comments:

Post a Comment