Robyn Tyner - Inspiring Teacher
I’ve always been inspired by teachers. When I was young, I had some really good ones; people who made it a joy to race to school, open your books and learn! I had a few less good ones along the way too, it’s natural, but not so many and I learnt something from every class I attended. I don’t know if that’s true for everyone. For the most part, for me, school and then University was a joy.
Now that I have my own kids, I look at teachers from a different angle. You want your kids to get the best education so that when they emerge from school, they have the broadest possible array of options to pursue their passion. When we moved to Geneva in 2003, we had the chance to send our lads to the International School of Geneva (ISG). The school has a good reputation, as do other international schools in the region, not to mention the Swiss system itself that is very good. Our oldest lad had already started school in Vietnam and at age four and a half, had started devouring books and could write his ten-letter name with aplomb, no mean feat. Upon arriving in Switzerland, he entered the local system where kids don’t get exposed to reading until around seven years old so there was a mismatch in his expectations and what the school could deliver. This led to quite some unhappiness so in the end, we were fortunate to secure him a place at the La Châtaigneraie (La Chat) campus of the ISG.
He attended the school for 13 long years and emerged a bright young thing last year with his International Baccalaureate (IB). Best of all, he emerged a fine young human being, as did all of his friends. It’s impressive but it’s not by luck. Of course, my son and his friends are all good kids, ready made for moulding into inspiring young people, but someone still has to do the moulding. While we parents of course play a major role in that, so too do the teachers who guide the kids for so many hours every day over so many years.
Teachers really are very important to all our lives and being a teacher seems to me to be a true “service” profession – of being in service to others and to a greater good. Being a doctor is another but their financial rewards are so much greater than teachers so I’ve always been inspired by how teachers devote themselves to teaching others, with not so much financial reward and not always in the easiest of situations.
Robyn Tyner is one such inspiring teacher. He teaches History and Theory of Knowledge at La Chat and also coordinates the IB program. I know how hard Robyn works to help kids through the IB and it really does inspire me in the sense that watching someone devote their life to helping others is a special thing. I decided that I would interview Robyn for a Cooee! Podcast. In this podcast, you’ll learn about the IB program but you’ll also learn about Robyn and how he came to be a teacher. You might learn something about the kids too as we have some "special guest appearances"; many thanks to these wonderful young adults for participating. Lastly, I hope you'll feel something of the ethos that Robyn and teachers everywhere bring to their work in order to send kids out into the world ready to make a great contribution.
I’m grateful to Robyn and I’m grateful to all teachers for their service. Long may they continue because it’s through their tireless, humble work that we can help young kids emerge from adolescence as great citizens, better able to play their part to make the world a better place.
I'll post podcasts with two other La Chat teachers soon. They are Briony Taylor who teaches the little ones in Class 1 and John Deighan who teaches and coordinates a number of special, very inspiring programs at the school.
This podcast includes sections from the songs "Springish" by Gillicuddy, "Lost Forever" by Little Glass Men, and "Le Petit Jardin" by Lee Madford available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license.
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