I was almost ten when I figured out the true cause of bullying in schools, but who's gonna listen to some kid? Anyway, I'll tell you the story, let you decide if I'm right or if I'm a bit cracked in the head. We had the best classroom teacher, she was so awesome. We got our work done and there was still had time to relax and laugh. No-one got bullied, it was more like being part of a big family than a classroom.

Then one day our teacher was sick, we didn't know it, but she would be out for weeks. Her replacement arrived like she'd come to wage war on us. No speaking was tolerated or it was names on the board, minutes standing outside the room and whole class detentions at recess and after school. We lost our appetite for work and kids who had always been sweet to one another, caring like siblings, turned on the nicest kid in the class because he wore old sneakers. That kid was, and still is, my best friend since kindergarten. That's when I knew, you put that much pressure into a classroom, where do you expect it to go? They can't take it out on the teachers, so the most soft natured kid gets it. The next day I wore the oldest and smelliest sneakers I could find and sat next to my buddy of five years, if they wanted a slice of him they'd have to take me on too.

So that's when I knew, kids aren't naturally mean, they're just kids - but put in a teacher who bullies and puts stress on them and watch them change. Glib slogans are easy, leading by example is hard.

By Angela Abraham, @daisydescriptionari, February 26, 2015.

Some teachers are just there for the pay-check, just hanging out until retirement is feasible, but not Mrs Edna. From the first day I took Frankie to the classroom door, me more scared than her, I knew she was in good hands. There wasn't a chance in hell that her new teacher wasn't experienced at both her craft and mothering. She was approaching fifty I'd say, but unlike some of her age there wasn't an ounce of cynicism about her. Her new wrinkles showed how she smiled and laughed often; her eyes and voice were soft but with just the right blend of assertiveness and confidence to keep a class in order. From that first day to the final day of the summer term, Frankie (for the first time ever in school) was happy every single day.