'Teaching is an art form.' These were the words of Sir Ken Robinson, the educationalist, speaking on last week's Desert Island Discs on BBC Radio. Between playing the eight songs he'd chosen to take to a desert island, he talked about his life, including his childhood in Liverpool and his education which would fundamentally shape the rest of his life. 'If a teacher hadn't seen something in me that I hadn't seen in myself, my life might have gone in a very different direction.'
Now he's a successful author, speaker, and international advisor on education. His talks on creativity are famous around the world. In fact, his 2006 TED talk How schools kill creativity is the most viewed video in TED’s history. After listening to him on Desert Island Discs I watched the video again. At one point he talks about the reaction of people he'd meet at dinner parties when he told them that he worked in education.
Things don't seem to have changed much. In the same week, I went to see La vie d'Adèle (Blue is the Warmest Colour). I know people are talking about this film for other reasons, but I was really surprised by the attitude of Emma's art-loving friends towards Adèle when they discover she's a teacher. Don't they know that 'teaching is an art form'?
In case you're interested, Sir Ken's favourite record was the Traveling Wilburys' End of the Line. You can listen to the Desert Island Discs programme here:
And if you're not one of the 25 million people who have viewed his 2006 TED talk, here's your chance.