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Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Reasons why it is ironic that Fran now spends much of her time INside a classroom

Isabelle over at In This Life has written a cracking post about teachers she remembers which you should go and read.  I really like her blog.  Anyway, I thought I'd juggle around a few teacher memories, too.  Thanks for the inspiration, Issy-babe. I owe you one.

I've already written about the teacher who hit me on the head with a dictionary and chose my vocation for me.

Another one I recall is a Design & Technology teacher.  I think he was Mr Drysdale, and he had a long nose, mud-green trousers on spindly legs, and an allergy to fourteen year old girls who didn't know how to draw a straight line, even with a ruler.  He reluctantly took me into his class because I had been thrown out of something else, probably Art.  I remember when I arrived at his door to tell him I'd been 'transferred'.  He probably said something like, 'What?  From Broadmoor? Frightening the others, were you?'  Put it this way, he was as pleased to have me in his class as anyone is to get repeat attacks of scabies.

I spent a lot of time outside his classroom door and didn't learn a lot of DT.  Correction: didn't learn any DT.

Dicky was the name of our music teacher.  Well, he did have a second name, but I won't say it, and anyway, we didn't use it.  My main memories of his classes are:

1. Being made to sing 'Speed Bonny Boat like a bird on the wing/over the sea to Skye' and hating it, so sitting on the back row of the class and making howling noises like a wild dog.

2. Listening to 'The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra' lesson after lesson and thinking, 'I have to find a way of getting out of here otherwise I'm going to leap from a high building.'  (He was probably thinking simultaneously: if only that annoying kid would go and leap from a high building.)

3. Trying to get Dicky to say 'bugger'.  He hesitated a lot, did Dicky, so his speech was littered with 'er, er, er, er'.  We had this great idea (one is always most imaginative when going through puberty) that if we could 'catch' him just before he said 'er' and call out 'BUG', we would have essentially made him say 'bugger'.  This gave us hours of amusement.  

I spent a lot of time outside his classroom door and didn't learn a lot of music.  Correction: didn't learn any music.

I still have my secondary school reports.  My two favourite quotations from these are 'Frances' efforts are dangerously selective' (no change there, then) and what my Geography teacher wrote once:  'Attainment.  Hopeless.  Effort.  Hopeless.  Potential.  Hopeless.'  Now I'm a growed-up person and a teacher myself who teaches English Language at A level, I think of this as a brilliant example of parallelism, abstract noun-adjective pairings, and a creative use of minor sentences.'  My foster parents at the time saw it another way.

I spent a lot of time outside his classroo ..... blah blah blahdiddyblah ......

I often think of Mr Drysdale, and Dicky, and Mr Hopeless as I stand in front of my classes at school.  I don't think I need to explain why.

Mr Drysdale had just heard the unfortunate news about who was coming to his class

27 comments:

  1. Love it. I was advised to give up physics, to save the future of science. Needless to say...I am still unable to fathom the mysteries of quantum, quarks or velocity.

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    1. I think Quantum, Quarks and Velocity are a new boy band about to make it big in the States.

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  2. Gosh, that was quick. (You're welcome. Just send on the cheque by return.)

    Do they know you became a teacher? And are you sorry for being Bad?

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    1. Very sorry indeed. Is that enough, Miss, or do I still have to come for the detention? And, no, they won't know, because I didn't become a teacher for another 25 years ... and I think they died. Probably early.

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  3. I taught for many years and I think I can sympathize with you. Young minds blah blah blah... I don't miss it. But I'm glad there are still those intrepid souls willing to pick up the teaching gauntlet.

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    1. Yes, yes, that's right. Leave it to others. Tut tut.

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  4. Get away with you, Fran, I bet you were a lovely kid at school and all your teachers loved you to bits. Particularly if you let your sense of humour shine through. Teachers love smartarses, erm, the bright kids, and only send them out of the room for the kid’s own good; it’s what you do too, isn’t it?

    I remember some teachers who loved me so much that they couldn’t bear for me to outshine the other kids and saw no other way out but to get me expelled. True, I swear.

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    1. I can think of several who would like have 'loved me to bits'. They would have preferred me in bits.

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  5. I had no idea you were so naughty. I'm impressed.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. I think most teachers were. My husband went to a school reunion where his geography teacher fell off the chair laughing when he found out Tim had become a teacher.
      "Get out of my classroom." was a key phrase of his youth.

      Which makes you wonder, witch skule Molesworth now learns 'em in.

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    2. Janie - Charlotte's right, I think. Maybe it's a subliminal need to 'make it up to the profession'. Called guilt, I think.

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  6. oh I remember Mr Drysdale- wasn't he the banker in The Beverley Hillbillies...or was that WAAAAAAAAAAY before your time...?

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    1. If it was in my time, I wasn't aware of it. But, then, being aware of things isn't my speciality.

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  7. Lovely post! I too spent some time outside the classroom door. Oh, the fear that Someone Important would walk past and see me, and ask WHY? And was punished for such odd things...

    Rolling a loo roll under the partitions between the girls loos, so that it unravelled all the way down the whole row (I had accomplices). What's not to like about that?

    Copying someone else's homework (OK. Fair cop)

    Standing on the desk and singing

    Collecting the cream off the top of everyone else's school milk , and making butter

    To name but a few. Oh - and I remember poor Miss W, of a certain age and almost certainly virgo intacta, trying to tell us about sex. She got in such a muddle. It was wonderful (and we probably knew more than she did anyway).

    ( hated school)

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    1. I love the loo roll story. That does sound tremendous fun and was probably one of those things the teachers had to punish you for but wished they could have a go at themselves. (And perhaps did, once the bell had gone at the end of the day ...)

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  8. I remember my headmistress voicing her frustration to my parents over my total lack of interest in class . My father just said gloomily , "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink " .
    It was only years later that my mother admitted how hard she found it not to laugh , having seen his abysmal school reports .
    ( Yes , they both became teachers ) .

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    1. He obviously knew exactly where you were coming from!

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  9. So your love of school was drilled into you from an early age...

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    1. I think my Physics teacher actually did consider drilling into me at one stage.

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  10. Your memory is really good......I think I have blanked out a lot of my school day memories.....mostly they were not good. As a young impressionable girl at Grammar school, I was mortified when, caught eating at my desk (It was my breakfast and I thought the teacher couldn't see me...Ha)he (for he was young and thought he was cool) told me off and then added 'and wouldn't a nose bag be more your style!!!!!
    How very dare he...and although I joke about it now, it really really did upset me at the time..downhill from there for me ...but I do still have my primary school reports....they were much happier days.

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    1. Gosh, that's so bad. Teachers have to be careful what they say - everyone seems to have a horror story about the things they remember their teachers saying. It can last a long time in the memory!

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  11. I had Miss Moore when I was eleven, she turned me into an Anglophile (I'm Australian remember) because we only read English books and sang English songs. Then because my father had a shop she sent me home in the middle of lessons to pick up something for her tea. This is why my punctuation has never recovered from the missed lessons.

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    1. I really wish those days hadn't gone - when teachers could send someone to pick something up for tea. Life would be so much easier!

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  12. You do make me chuckle. We had a delightful teacher for CSE German (!!!) he sang in the same choir as my mum & would bring his guitar to end a lesson with a quick rendition of "zwillywillyzig bum bum " ! or simlilar....
    well being a group of fifteen & sixteen year olds not all joined in enthusiastically... one lad Roger H sat at the back breaking the tops of matchsticks. Once he'd amalgamated a huge pile inside the desk - he lit the lot ! Mr B a very gentle man normally jumped up & leapt over the tops of the desks grabbed Roger & put out the fire ! ...we'd never seen anything like it and always regarded him with admiration after.

    Happy days

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    1. I must try the 'leap over the tops of the desks' trick, if it gets you admiration. I'll let you know how I get on ...

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  13. I laughed my head off at the bit where you were at the back of the room howling like a dog instead of singing! You daft git. I personally believe that people who are bored at school like that, are more intelligent than the robots who spend all their time swotting. You show far more imagination ;-)

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    1. Some people still think I'm howling like a dog when I am, actually, trying to sing.

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