At a book appearance near my hometown, several of my high school friends graciously gathered to listen to me speak. After the event, half a dozen of us hung around the library, sharing stories from our days in school together. Conversation turned to our former teachers, and after a few minutes, someone correctly pointed out that our collective childhood was littered with inappropriate, strange and oddball educators who, if working in education today, wouldn’t last ten minutes.
Some of the the examples included:
The teacher who pulled one of our classmates out of the room by her hair.
The teacher who was caught by one of my classmates making out with a substitute teacher in the science lab.
The teacher who required students to only raise their dominant hand.
The seeming abundance of high school teachers who ended up marrying their former students.
The teacher who married a former student and then lost his job after an indiscretion with another former student.
The teacher (who I have written about before) who assigned me the nickname The Big Dickus and my brother The Little Dickus, and who handed out detentions like he was doling out candy and zeros as test grades for bad behavior.
The teacher who would watch us eat lunch with an unlit cigarette hanging from her mouth.
The teacher who we made cry in fourth grade. And the other teacher who we made cry in fourth grade.
The teacher who refused to teach my fourth grade class when we returned to elementary school (that was quite a year for us).
The teacher who told me that she had given me a D- on my report card because she didn’t like me.
These are just some of the less-than-savory, less-than-skilled educators who litter my educational landscape. I know I’m forgetting others, and perhaps my high school friends can add to the list for me.
But I wonder:
Were these teachers reflective of the time period that I attended school (1976-1989) or was my hometown a gathering point for lunatics and unskilled professionals?