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.