I have experienced the teaching techniques of many educators over the years. Yet the one that stands out from the crowd is my Year 4 teacher who told her class on a daily basis that 'there is no such thing as can’t'.
She felt passionately that if you were struggling with a task, it meant that you simply needed help, should try a little harder or, perhaps more accurate for my seven-year-old self, didn't want to do it.
However, her drive for her pupils to succeed meant that the word ‘can't’ disappeared from my vocabulary for years after I left her classroom, as I pushed myself that little bit more. I would not admit defeat.
This teacher was also the driving force behind a merit system that was introduced at my school. The concept was simple: you did something good, you received a coloured piece of card with your name on it and the reason you received the merit. If you collected 25 merits in any given term, your name was read out in assembly; if you received 50, you could pick the Wednesday afternoon story that week, and so on and so forth.
I still remember the sense of achievement that I felt when I heard my name in assembly.
The reason for the merit system was simple, effective and can be applied to life today – a little recognition goes a long way. And within people’s busy working days, it's easy to forget to say well done or thank you to those you manage, as well as to peers.
Now in its seventh year, the AOP Awards were established to recognise and celebrate the outstanding talent and contributions made by those working within the optical sector.
So why not say well done to a dedicated optical assistant who is always there to support you when the patient leaves the testing room, or a lecturer who you recall from your university years who motivated you to achieve your goals?
Nominations are open until 10am on Monday, 10 July, so what are you waiting for? Nominate now.