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Second Grade

I've been reading Do-Over! by Robin Hemley.  It's basically a memoir, with the twist that he tries to "do over" some of the less successful parts of his early life. It's a fairly compelling read, and it makes me want to do two things: read another chapter, and write about some of my own stickier memories.

One part of my childhood that is still a pretty vivid memory is second grade. My teacher, Mrs. Staley, was about 900 years old and senile. And she wasn't a sweet old doddering lady. She was prone to rages and tantrums.

One of our regular homework assignments was to take words she'd given us in class and write sentences with them. This was a pretty good assignment. I still remember one of them. The word was "girl" and my sentence was "One of the Rolling Stones looks like a girl." (The Rolling Stone in question was Brian Jones.)

I had gotten to the point where I would think of sentences as soon as I copied the words  off the board. One day I decided it was dumb to wait until I got home to write them. So I would copy the word and write the sentence write next to it.

One day some girl raised her hand and said "Mrs. Staley, Doc's doing his homework in class!". Mrs. Staley came over to me and grabbed me by the shoulders and started shaking me. She got right in my face and started screaming "Homework is supposed to be done at home!! You're not supposed to do your homework in class!!".

The harsh treatment alone would not have made this as memorable as it is. It's the fact that I was receiving harsh treatment for thinking on my feet and being efficient. She made it clear that she'd better not see that kind of productivity and efficiency again, or I would really catch it.

It's no wonder I like Ayn Rand's novels as much as I do. My second grade teacher was an Ayn Rand villain!


Ah, the worst kind of teacher ever. She doesn't sound like she's the sort who loves teaching.

To be honest, I need a break myself after 5 weeks in a high school!

Ayn Rand villian is correct...:D Although the enforcement of some sort of conformity is, sadly, practically bread and butter in most schools.

Edited at 2009-06-16 02:12 am (UTC)
that's one of the reasons I want to become a teacher...so I can never treat students like that.