I remember my teacher well - he was young and not very chatty (at least not with ten year olds). During the course of a conversation with my mum, he told her that I seemed happy enough but that he couldn't remember speaking to me during the year!
My mum was furious. I was an incredibly shy girl and if he didn't speak to me I certainly wasn't going to go out of my way to speak to him.
As a result of this I was taken to elocution lessons - my mum had gone as a young girl. I thoroughly enjoyed these lessons and took - and passed - various exams in speech and drama and bible reading and took part every year in the Bournemouth Festival.
These lessons gave me confidence but didn't change the way I sound - I still have a Dorset accent and I believe we shouldn't all sound the same. You shouldn't be able to pick out people who've had elocution lessons because you think they sound 'artficial'. I have to admit that I feel very pleased with myself when people say to me 'Don't your daughters speak nicely!'
I was still a very shy girl but I knew how to speak when I had to. At my senior school, the different classes used to take it in turns to participate in the morning assemblies. We had a very elderly Maths teacher who claimed that the only time he could hear the assembly was when I did a reading! In return for this I was excused Maths tests in his class. (Luckily my maths didn't suffer - I went on to pass 'A' level Maths).
I took a degree in Law and Economics and went on to become a trainee accountant - for all of 12 weeks!! Sitting in an office all day was not for me!
Years later when my daughters were 2 and 5 I went back to the same elocution teacher and studied to take my teaching exams and gained my A.N.E.A.(Speech Training)