What I Wish I'd Told My Teacher - Mr Ruddock


Mr Ruddock was my history teacher in Year 8.

I want to sugarcoat it, or say it wasn't just me, or assert that I wasn't the worst, but, the truth is: I made his life a misery. 

Inspired by Paul Dix's fabulous new book: 'When Adults Change, Everything Changes', I wrote this letter to Mr Ruddock.Mr Ruddock.

I wonder if he's still out there, If he's still teaching and if he still has nightmares about me.

And, as I explain in the letter, I'm sorry.

Dear Mr Ruddock

I'm sorry.


I’m sorry that my

On bad days, I just don’t listen to you. On worse ones, I instigate a full-scale riot.

I do see that that makes you unhappy.

Also, despite feigning ignorance, I do understand why you weren’t impressed when I tried to ineloquently compare the unfortunate incident involving Stephen Thorpe’s tie and three bottles of Tippex with the events leading up to the first World War.

That was.... clever, but totally unnecessary.

It must feel like you're reliving history every time you come into our lesson and I appreciate why it feels impossible for you to start with a clean slate every day.

I totally get it when your eyes suspiciously dart straight to me whenever something kicks off in my general vicinity.

I feel your pain, Sir.

It’s clear in the slit eye you throw in my direction.

Are you interested in some constructive feedback? Learner to teacher?

See, the real tragedy is, I actually like you.

Crazy, huh?

There are moments, before our lessons descend into their regular chaos, that you actually seem to care. I’m just not sure what it is that you care about.

Surely it can’t be Archduke Ferdinand?

I wonder if in another life we could be friends. But then when we see each other around school you look away and have never once spoken to me outside of the room we have history lessons in other than to tell me off.

I wonder if you’ll ever just smile at me or say hello or speak my name in a voice that isn’t raised. But data I get from you just confirms what I already know.

You don’t like me.

On the battlefield that is Period 5, Friday afternoon, we are in different uniforms. And the only relationship we have is one of sworn enemies.

Remember that time you told me off for treating school like some sort of game and got annoyed when I said that that is exactly what it is.

A game.

I really do believe that, Sir.

And it's a game set up for me to loose.

That’s why I try to change/break the rules. I’m trying to move the goal posts, so that I can play a game I actually have a chance of winning.goal posts, so that I can play a game I actually have a chance of winning.


Author Profile

Jaz Ampaw-Farr

Jaz Ampaw-Farr

Mum of 3, Resilience Ninja, Literacy Consultant, passionate advocate of starting with WHY, Governor, fired by Lord Sugar!

42 stories


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