David Patrick died this week. It is not often that obituaries of teachers reach a national paper but he is remembered because he had both a keen intellect, a fierce determination to inspire in his students a passion for history and the ability to divine gems within a person.
David taught at Shore for 12 years and at Sydney Grammar from 2006. A former student, Andrew Lampe said, "David was both an extraordinary teacher and mentor to me. His fast and vivacious intellect meant that his history classes demanded your brain keep pace. his depth and breadth of knowledge should have been intimidating, except that as a teacher and later as a mentor, he never condescended."
On a trip to Gallipoli, he gave each student the name of a boy from the school who had died as a soldier. The students then had to find out as much as possible about the soldier, stand beside the grave and tell the other students as much as they knew.
"As an educator he was an amazing encourager. Literally he would give courage to his students."
David died aged 55 years and at his funeral pupils of Sydney Grammar provided a guard of honour.
His brother Ian said, "To him, no-one was unimportant. Everybody had a story to tell and a valuable opinion".
(summarised and quoted from the obituaries page of the Sydney Morning Herald, 1st March 2010, p16. For full obituary please click on link above.)
Did you have a teacher who opened new worlds for you?