My First Mentor Tom Booth

Here is a story about my Grade 5 teacher that I did for my first homework assignment. It is supposed to explain his appearance , setting , etc. Tell me if you care to comment if you found this short story interesting or not.

My Mentor Tom Booth
“I’m leaving on a jet plane , don’t know when I’ll be back again. Oh babe I hate to go.” Everytime I hear that Peter Paul and Mary song I think back to 1970 on Friday afternoons at Keith School when my teacher Mr. Booth use to sing that song while playing his guitar. The sing-a-long would cap off another fun week at school learning with my Grade 5 teacher.
Tom Booth was a charismatic , free spirit , who epitomized what the world was like back in 1970. In his mid – twenties , he was tall , slender , and sported a moustache. He was usually clad in his blue jeans and a shirt that was unbuttoned at the top. He even sported the curly shoulder length hair of the day which came with long sideburns. Definitely the mod look was in and Tom Booth reflected that in his appearance.

It must be said that Keith School was way ahead of it’s time for 1970 that allowed Tom Booth to use his skills. It was experimental because it was the first and only school I ever went to that let the student make their own schedule. There was the homeroom teacher that taught one subject. They were responsible for making sure the student allotted time each day to visit the other teachers. Each teacher taught something different. So I just went from class to class with a lot of time spent working on different projects. All you had to be is consistent each day and attend the classes.

So Tom Booth was a teacher that was a right fit for this new concept. Unlike many teachers of the day who taught by shoving information into a student’s head and ruling by iron fist , Tom Booth used supportive , innovative techniques that to this day I believe created the solid foundation upon which I live today and motivate my kids.
For example , he was the only teacher I ever had who understood that hard work should be rewarded by starting a star of the week. Taking place on the Friday afternoon just before the sing-a-long , he would reward a student that he thought deserved this honour. The really fun part was actually having something to remember it by as he would go to the trouble of making a nice certificate with the student’s name inscribed on and the date received. A nice something to bring home to the parents to say the least! I think I won it the most times at three.
But as quick as he was at praising he was also firm when you were slipping. I recall when I decided to slack off for a while and he gave me a talk that I will never forget. He told me that I was better than just being a slacker and not to waste my time wasting my potential. In his words , I should strive to be the best I could be and not to settle for doing less that what I was capable of. That advice still rings true today when I am talking with my own kids.
Unfortunately , Keith School and Tom Booth only lasted one year then we moved so I had to go to another school. But when I hear that song I think of when I was in Grade 5 having the time of my life being taught by one of my first role models , Tom Booth.
So there you have it. Did it keep your interest or did you shut off half way through? The teacher hasn’t seen it yet so you get first jabs at it. I had to keep it to around 500 words but I felt I could have easily done a lot more just explaining the school alone.


  1. I like it. You did a great job. It was an easy read and flowed well. He sounds like an incredible teacher.

  2. Caleb…thank you for the feedback. After all these years he was still the best teacher.The others I hardly remember.

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