I generally have good memories of school. Primary school was very confusing for me. I went into grade 1 at the age of 5. I was a tiny little thing and I don’t think I was emotionally ready for big school.

My teacher, who was a friend of my family took me under her wing and looked out for me. She was a wonderful maternal figure who looked out for the kids in her class. I didn’t make many friends in that first year and remember crying a lot.

It was only after we emigrated to another country that I became aware of people who shouldn’t have become teachers. Those who didn’t inspire curiosity and learning…those who resorted to emotional humiliation and corporal punishment to assert their twisted beliefs around discipline.

In those days teachers were allowed to hit their students. As a girl the usual route was multiple slashes of a wooden ruler on my hands. I wasn’t a naughty child, quite the contrary. So the sense of betrayal that I constantly felt when the whole class was punished because one child spoke to another when we were supposed to be quiet hit me quite hard. This was something my Libra mind couldn’t comprehend and I often lived in fear when I was in these teachers’ classes.

When this happened, they started off by asking the class who had opened their mouths. When no one owned up they punished the whole class in a twisted tableau of emotional blackmail. What did they think this action was teaching us?

I had two teachers like that. Two people who were so triggered by the behaviour of normal children that they are forever remembered for their sadistic streak rather than their wisdom. I still don’t understand how people can instil violence on children like that.

For whatever reason their nerves were so raw and close to the surface that to trigger them was all to easy. They were angry all the time. At the end of the day they thought they had won and showed us…what? When in actual fact there were only losers – us kids deprived of a good role-model, and them, deprived of their humanity for that moment in time.



4 thoughts on “Nerve”

  1. The teachers of my community prepared me for “next” even though they did not know when “next” would happen. Their mixture of humanity and tough love set me up for what success I have enjoyed. I am truly grateful for them and their no-nonsense stance when all I wanted to do, sometimes, was just be left alone.

    Shame on those teachers who missed the opportunity to stretch their humanity by allowing little souls to blossom and thrive in their presence.

    Love your writing!

  2. The teachers that I remember fondly were not necessarily the best educated… or had the best teaching methods… or taught the most important subjects. They were an important influence on my life because of their character… their integrity… their attitude… and most important… their example.

    I can certainly identify with the teachers you are writing about. I remember them too. But I’m thankful their negative example did not pull me down to their level… rather the positive influence of those teachers who lived life on a higher plane were the most important in my life.

    You express your thoughts very well. Keep up the good work.
    Galen911 recently posted…“Not Amusing After Midnight”My Profile

    1. Thanks so much!
      It was my high school English teacher that saw something that I didn’t think I had, that inspired me to study English literature at university, and to a love of writing. I look back at her encouragement and belief in me, and often think of her.

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