Monday, August 29, 2011

Who was your worst teacher?

I had a phone call last night from a guy I've known since kindergarten.  He's on a reunion committee and wanted some updates from me.  We went through elementary and high school together, and got to talking about students we both knew and more so about our teachers, many who have now been dead for 30 years.  The topic came up on who was the worst one we ever had.  No it wasn't a biology teacher in 10th grade that was a total incompetent, or the gay pedophile gym coach who came on to the boys in high school.  We knew how to deal with them.  It was Miss X. (I'm not saying the real name because I know her relatives quite well. Miss X was an older middle age spinster when I had her in my first year in public school, kindergarten.

This is a woman who never had children of her own, and had a deep disdain, and no tolerance for little children who did not fall in immediately upon order behave on command.  Not a particularly good fit for a woman who was, year after year, put in charge of 35 five year old kids for an entire school year.  Her classes were often right out of a Dickens novel.  Children were routinely spanked, slapped and locked in the cloak roam for minor offenses, such as spilling milk, not finishing a puzzle on time, giggling, and chatting with classmates at inappropriate times.  If you came to school without boots or rubbers over your shoes on rainy or snowy days, Miss X locked us in the closet and made us stand in ice water as punishment.   Parents complained about her constantly to the principle, and school board, but it was to no avail.  She had tenure, and the stock answer was, "That's the way it has always been done."

Today this woman would be locked up for child abuse, but 1961 was a different era.  By contrast, Mrs. M., my 1st grade teacher, was a lovely woman who truly loved children and made learning a fun experience.  All the kids who suffered the tortures of Miss X's house of horrors, began to breath a sigh of relief.  Unfortunately I had to meet and greet Miss X. every Sunday morning until I moved away from home for college, as she was a local fixture and deacon in our church.  (What were they thinking?)

If Young Frankenstein had been made back when I was a kid, I'm sure the would be compared to Frau Blucher.  Instead she got off easy and only got equated to the Wicked Witch of the West, a title much deserved.

So who was your worst teacher?  Lets fill up the comments area with your stories.

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