Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Blog Fodder

Blog Fodder has begun. A topic a week for 52 weeks to ease the dread that is Blogger's Block! This week's question set by Jean-Luc Picard asks ....

What are some of your memorable experiences at school?
Gosh, school! Firstly you should probably know that I am a teacher because I didn't actually enjoy school all that much as a child. I found lots of things that happened in school quite painful and unfortunately it seems to be those memories that have stuck with me ... I truly don't wish that for any child in my care.
My first real memory of school is as a year 1 (aged about 5 / 6) child moving from one school to another. The village I lived in had been given permission to use an ex-grammar school (which had stood empty for years) as it's new English language primary school. The classes had previously been in a conglomerate of different buildings all over the village. The new school had masses of space both inside (including 2 huge school halls) and out and our visit was to perform (or maybe it was practice) for a concert ... prior to moving in permanently. I have this really strong picture in my mind of Miss Thomas telling us to take our shoes off ... the wooden block floors had been refinished ... in a huge classroom and lining them up in a long line down the edge of the room. I don't know what we did / where we went after that but I so remember the long line of shoes.
The same year after our move I remember my mum coming to collect me early one day, I think we were going on holiday early and she appeared in the classroom doorway. She had had a haircut that day and had gone from long (past her shoulders) to a short urchin crop! The shock!! My shout (and it would have been a shout, I was a gobby little cuss even then) of "oh my god, would you look at your hair" brought the classroom to a stand-still!
Year 6 (the last year of primary school) was a particularly painful school year for me. A year of abject misery, ritual humiliation (of me and a number of my classmates) and upset. Our teacher ~ who amazingly seems to have been canonised on the Friend's Reunited website ~ was cruel beyond belief. A glamorous busty blonde, who had the headteacher wrapped around her little finger she was unspeakably cruel. A la Miss Jean Brodie she would speak about us as the "crème de la crème J4a" and talked about the other year 6 class (we were streamed by ability) as the B class ... not good enough (by inference not intelligent enough) to be in class with us. She would wander around the class sniffing behind children's backs before announcing loudly "somebody is not wearing clean knickers today!"
Being a glamorous busty blonde she was used to the adoration of children everywhere, pre-pubescent boys wanted to carry her handbag from the car each morning (she never seemed to take any marking home ... where did I go wrong?) the matching set of prpubescentnt girls wanted to be just like her when they grew up. I didn't fit the bill! I didn't adore her, I loathed her and I was terrified of her. So she tried to bring in the educational psychologist / behavioural services .... my mother refused, knowing full well that this would stay on my educational record for good. When this happened she started a campaign of further ritual humiliations which culminated in sitting me in the secretary's office ... to answer the school phone ... on the same day that my parents were brought in to talk about my behaviour and attitude in school. Their interview took place in the head's office, just across the corridor and the headteacher's door was left ajar ... for the safety of the children monitoring the phone. Those were the exact words I heard her use to my mother and father as they were shown in for the discussion.
Thankfully 4 weeks before the end of term I was sent down to the B class, swapped with Debbie T ... what a relief! 4 weeks of the wonderful Mr Thomas and only thoccasionalal lesson with the horrific cow from next door! What bliss ... four weeks of joyous teaching from a true gentleman! Life lessons about kindness and fun! At the end of the year I (and my sychophantic classmates) assumed that her word would be taken into account at the local comprehensive school. She said I was "only good enough to be a cleaner!" I needn't have worried. She's probably turning in her grave at the thought of me as a member of her profession! But I now know that I would never humiliate a child like she humiliated me.
School's not so bad these days ;o) Lots of laughter and fun! Fostering a lifelong love of learning. New memories, good memories!


Anonymous said...

It's been a while. Send me an email. It would be good to hear from you.

Jonathan Higgs

Le laquet said...

Ah Jonathan ... I would, if I could but I have no email address for you! If you know me ... you know mine! :o)

Anonymous said...

ooooooo errrrrrrrrrrr!!!

That Teacher sounds like a complete bitch! It is disgusting what some so called professionals were allowed to get away with
Xx Fizzy xX

Anonymous said...

How wonderful that you're teaching now and there to give kids better experiences!

Chrissie said...

I agree with Uisce. You must be a wonderful teacher. I live in the U.S. How do school differ?

Claire said...

What a cow! Must have been a nightmare having a teacher like that!

Have come by from Blog Fodder as just added mine!

Anonymous said...

I found your link via Blog Fodder.

I got chills reading about that teacher - how awful it must have been. Bless you for being able to move on and give our future generations a better introduction to education =)

Fi said...

Jeez, Jo, what a tough time you had. I often wonder what makes people like her go into teaching? An outlet for the sadistic tendencies perhaps?

I suppose most of us will recall a teacher they hated, but then again we all remember a teacher we loved - and I'm sure that's what's driven you to become one, huh?

Moogie said...

That must have been awful. It's great to know that you are teaching now because you know what bad teachers are all about. How wonderful for you and the children you are blessed to have you instruct them.

Here via Blog Fodder. Thanks for participating and hope to see you next week!

Anonymous said...

I have changed email addresses and lost my contacts file. If you don't remember me then I guess there is no point to my swapping contact information. If you do remember me, tell me a way to give my new email address where it isn't posted on this site for the world to see. Maybe there is a way for me to post it here but block who sees it. I don't know. Just tell me how to do it and I will, if you remember me that is..

Le laquet said...


My gmail is just underneath my profile on the main page!!