For the sake of anonymity I won't mention her name. She was my classics teacher in sixth form (and if she's reading this I'm sure she'll know who she is). She made classes fun and made us feel like grown-ups.
We had quite a small classics group, which met in one of the upper rooms in the school. It was a lovely group that enjoyed sharing its learning with each other. Part of the reason for this was the way that our teacher made us all feel valued. I particularly enjoyed when she would set us individual or paired tasks to present a certain topic to the rest of the class. These sessions made us go into much greater detail than we would otherwise on a particular subject, and they often played on our own interests.
Her lessons felt much more like university seminars than other school lessons. We would sit together round a single table discussing whatever we were studying. Often she would bring us cups of tea and we would share biscuits. She used to tell us it was our little secret, as she shouldn't really be bringing us things out of the staffroom.
She inspired me to love classics, even the architecture bits which I've never enjoyed learning about with anyone else. As a result I went on to do Ancient History and Archaeology at University, and then did my dissertation about how Ancient History is taught in primary schools (focusing on the Romans mostly). I even began to enjoy using my limited Latin skills to translate tombstones, and inscriptions in churches.
So you can see that she really shaped my future, giving me increased confidence, as well as inspiring my ongoing learning. If you're reading this, thank-you.
What do you think makes a good teacher?