A few years ago there was an advertising campaign in the UK attempting to make the teaching profession more attractive on the premise that everyone remembers a good teacher. This is true, of course, although I remember a few bad ones too.
Mr Campbell was in his 60s when he taught me, a tall, rather ugly man with a bulbous nose and threadbare white hair, who was given to wearing tweed suits; he was known throughout the school as "Dirty Donald" for his predilection for rubbing his hand up and down the table leg while he spoke and a rumoured, although never substantiated, over-solicitous interest in the young women in his classes. Mr Campbell was a Cambridge scholar who spoke and read Latin and Greek; he had once commanded a much higher salary in a conventional private school, but he became enamoured of the philosophy of Rudolf Steiner and ended up teaching English to wise-cracking smartmouths at my school (on my school copy of Othello, which I still have in an attic somewhere, someone had written across a solemn picture of Othello strangling Desdemona, "My God they make these dolls tighter these days").
I was the only person taking English A Level in my year, so I had the rare privilege of one to one lessons with Mr Campbell. Although he liked to close the curtains in the library when we were in there (cue countless impromptu "visits" for the duration of the lesson from studious pupils urgently requiring a copy of One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch), he never made any inappropriate overtures.
Mr Campbell's lessons were so erudite that they were a joy. We read and laughed at Chaucer; we discussed Pride and Prejudice, and The Importance of Being Earnest, and marvelled at Paradise Lost, and Othello, and The Waste Land; and the excitement of the language, and the sense of discovery, and the thrill of learning, still stays with me. Mr Campbell understood what words can do, and knew how to bring out my ideas and responses to what I was reading, and gave me the confidence to think aloud.