Karen Morehouse has taught English at Huntington Beach High School for nearly 40 years. In a room overlooking the main street of a southern California town she works magic, imbuing lessons in Shakespeare and grammar and the five-paragraph essay with compassion and infectious enthusiasm.
Now that the arts have safely returned to the classroom, we need to ensure they are utilised as much as possible, across all subjects in the curriculum. we have seen that using the arts in the classroom helps nurture children's communication and language skills, analysis and teamwork.
Inspirational, quality teaching is one of the topics I present to the UK's department of education along with cyber bullying, raising standards, bringing programming and code into the curriculum, academies, the rise of male teachers and more.
Many moons ago, when I was a student, there was a real sense of expectation around students who achieved those elusive top grades at A-Level. If you didn't think it was for you, you were still pushed to place an application to Oxford or Cambridge, especially if, like me, you were more a minority ethnic background.
In an effort to get out of the house and away from the blood vessel popping effort to keep my mouth shut, I recently went to hear the wunderkind of modern education speak at Portcullis House. In case you are old and backward like me, his name is Salman Khan.
I think if teachers had just one opportunity to stand up to the nation and give advice to parents, they would probably all say very similar things. So, in the spirit of sharing and dispelling the awkwardness and to start a dialogue, this is what I want to say to parents.
What is it with neoliberal/neoconservative politicians? In their view of human nature and public ownership, privatization would magically improve everything. To them, evidence-based decision making is not necessary; they have an ideologically blind belief in the transformative power of markets.
Whilst the initial plans to implement the EBacc were incredibly alarming, the loud and very public backlash also proved that Britain is proud to be the cultural capital of the world. We must now keep this momentum going and ensure that our teachers are delivering the arts in the classroom with as much passion and creativity as possible.
Many of the new education policies seem to focus on the short-term rather than long-term. Of course a rational person wouldn't want to defend Gove, but he's right about one thing. Change is needed.
Empathy, or the lack thereof, causes so many of the daily frustrations in teaching and prevents so much of the learning that could take place in the classroom, that it seems foolhardy to ignore the potential impact of examining this concept in detail.
In short, the school will become an unhappy place for all but a few who enjoy the rough and tumble - but these do not sound like desirable qualities in an educator. Any sense of working together to create a sound institution in which each and everyone can take a pride will disappear.
Despite the inauspicious circumstances of my first hearing and the associations with rampant Toryism, I am moved today to show how the prayer itself should be the mantra of those of us who work in leadership positions in education.
So why should a Headteacher death such as this one take such a lowly position in the news agenda? Why is such a story deemed less important than teachers "sneaking off" to enjoy a social life? Do newspaper editors think articles criticising teachers are that much more appealing?
I don't know why people bully others. The sense of power leaving someone shaking with fear must be a real high to people with very little going on in their lives. It saddens me and I really try to treat the spats my children have at school with the utmost gravity when they come to me.
As the last of the Autumn leaves fall and memories of London 2012 start to recede, various highlights will surely remain such as the unexpected tears of Sir Chris Hoy, perhaps. Or maybe the exhilaration of the Mobot moment.
Only one in 10 young people are comfortable seeking advice from teachers, parents and GPs. Over half would go online to get support about self-harm despite only one in five trusting online sources.