I remember the scariest teacher I ever had. Mrs. Veeking’s a.k.a the Viking.
Our school ran right the way from Std. 1 to Std. 7 (Juniour School), and Form 1. to Form 6. (Seniour School).
It was a strict Irish Catholic School, led by a Wizard called Father Cormac who walked around with a hollow Mahogany cane that he thwacked you with if you were caught;
1. with your socks down
2. with food in your mouth
3. running on the corridors
4. not pronouncing your i’s, t’s and s’s,
5. being outside of class ’cause your teacher told you to ‘stand out side!’
6. coming to school in a bigger car than other students (honest)
7. coming to school in a smaller car than other students
8. chewing gum (and a tackie to boot! i.e. a trainer/sneaker across your back-side)
9. getting less than an A
10. getting less than an A
Std. 1’s and 2’s were kept away from the main school until Std. 3, and The Viking.
She was short, 5ft. (not to us though), she was loud and she was in charge of The Bell.
The Bell rang to mark class starts, class ends, and breaks, and if ever was rung at any other time, there would be hell to pay. Thing is, it stood, un-guarded, right in the center of the quadrangle. In a school of boys? Go figure.
She was stocky and she’d take you down. And yes, I mean TAKE YOU DOWN, no kidding, rugby tackle, flying kick Judo pull-over, faster-than-the-speed-of-sound, full palm across the face, slap.
But the worst teacher I’ve ever had? No. Each one of us made Oxford, Cambridge or Ivy league, she knew the names of every family member, she came over for free to make sure that the one’s struggling never got left behind, and that the one’s ahead took the rest with them.
Actually, the whole school functioned like this for years, up until the mid-eighties when, as we all know, everything changed. Priests were sexual predators and were replaced by young can-I-be-your-friend types, uniform could be modified, cars driven, tutors hired…very quickly, as is elsewhere, the richer you were the higher the standard of education afforded.
I haven’t done well with telling you about the worst teacher I ever had but I honestly can’t remember any. There were some I didn’t like, but teachers respond to respect by doing their jobs well.
And we were taught respect.
At least you’ve had a glimpse at colonial British Education.
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