#TMGeogIcons - Post #3 - David Lambert's message

Here's the full text that Professor David Lambert sent to me for TeachMeet Geography Icons.
I asked a lot of people who I've worked with over the years to send a message to the delegates and I'm grateful to everyone who replied.
There's a lot here about our role as teachers, which David shared with the delegates, and it's also worth sharing more widely too. I only managed to put part of this into the presentation, but David talked about one of his own personal icons: the late Rex Walford. I have the privilege of having Rex's and Liz Taylor's PGCE colleagues from Homerton College in my school for many years, and worked with two fine folks who we employed after they'd finished their training.
Here's what David had to say to the folks.

I am now 80% retired after spending a long time grappling with geography in education. I started school teaching in 1974 and have ended up a professor; but I intend finishing by 2019. That's a 45 year stretch and I have loved (almost) every minute of it.

One of the things I learned from one of my GeographyIcons (Rex Walford) is that is good not to be a one trick pony. I am not a brilliant polymath like Rex was (he was a journalist and wrote musicals, directed and performed as well as doing geography), but I am convinced that there is need to balance the passion, enthusiasm and commitment (of the kind you have shown to turn up for Saturday in June to do geography) with, well something more than being a ‘great teacher’ who can turn on an outstanding performance when Ofsted calls.
Something like a vision - and possibly a concern for contemporary challenges. This is because this helps focus your commitment on the potential power of geography in school - beyond the exam grades.

There are times when your geography lessons are the only thing that matters. Occasionally you will get most of the class to think that too. This is wonderful. But it sometimes can also be a bit limiting - especially if the quality of the geography is a bit dodgy.

It is therefore especially wonderful if the significance of geography can be established in a wider setting. Geography’s good, but not as as end in itself. Philosophers used to say that the only thing is the love of learning: learning for its own sake. I now think this is a bit twee, and somewhat self-indulgent. I am interested in asking the very difficult question: in what way is the geography you teach powerful? 
And I mean powerful to every child you teach, who ever they are and their circumstances.

This is why I have been involved in GeoCapabilities recently