Don Roberts was a committed educator. Despite being labeled a problem child during his school years, he took the irreversible decision to become a teacher at the tender age of eight. Schoolwork at his city school was far too easy, and hence monotonous, so he channeled his boundless energy into mischief and sports. When I was eight years old, I spent three months in a one-teacher school and it was a revelation. He relished the daily amusement, relished the challenge of progressing at his own pace, and relished the opportunity to assist other children, which he was both permitted and encouraged to do.
He not only decided to become a teacher at that point, but he also began to prepare how he would teach by observing what he liked about his uncle at the one-teacher school and his sports master, his boyhood hero. He codified his teaching philosophy as a student teacher at the age of sixteen, altering it slightly through his teaching experiences throughout his career.