A teacher who, basically, says there is no point educating girls to the one who stapled a classmates t-shirt shut, all coming-up in “Teachers Pt. 2”.
Grade 5: Male teacher. Very dark hair and beard/moustache. Gorgeous eyes. Olive-coloured skin. He was extremely kind and patient. But, he was different. I’m not sure he was from around the area. He was, in particular, a great science teacher. I can’t remember anything else he taught us, but I loved when it was time for science. The main science lesson I remember doing was when we had to colour a white sheet of paper all of one of our highlighter colours, stare at it for a minute, and then look at a white piece of paper and observe how the white paper no longer looked white. This is still something I do occasionally. Or, if it happens by accident (because I’ve been writing notes on a fluorescent piece of paper and then look away), I always remember him and it makes me smile.
Grade 6: Female teacher. Older. Cranky. For a very long time I didn’t like this teacher. In fact, it wasn’t until I was in my late teens that I could appreciate her. She was harsh and impatient while in class. But, she was a great music teacher. She taught me to play the recorder and ukulele. She gave me my first real solo. It was for the Christmas Concert and I was playing “Candy the Clown” and I sang a song called “What is a Gift?”. Now that I am older, she reminds me of a teacher who was trying to hold onto what she believed was the substance of education in the midst of massive changes in the education system.
Grade 7: This was a really weird year in education. The education system was doing a pilot project, splitting grades and teachers. It was set up a bit like high school, so we had different teachers for different subjects and traveled from room to room. But, our home-room teacher was female. She was pretty, and she knew it. Her strengths were in drama. We did a lot of drama. She had big lips, dark skin and wore a lot of perfume. We loved to tease her and I never really understood it at the time, but now I know that she really helped me learn to be vulnerable with the artist inside of me and express myself without feeling embarrassed.
Grade 8: Male teacher. Extremely chauvinistic. Even as I type this grade I feel my fingers pounding more heavily on the keys as my blood boils at the thought of this horrible man. Not only did he make no bones about the fact that he focused more on providing the boys a good education because, after all, they were the ones who were going to grow-up and have to make a living, he also terrified most of us with current events. He used to say that by the time we were 16, World War 3 would be happening. He said “take a look around you. All the boys you see, all these guys who are your friends, will be drafted to fight and most won’t come back.” Yeah, he was a real asshole.
Grade 9: My first year of High School. French: I can’t really remember my French teacher this year. But, I did really good in the subject and enjoyed it, so I guess he/she was a good teacher.
Math: Brutal. But, not necessarily because of the teacher. My teacher was a male, very old (near retirement), wore brown polyester suits, and had a really odd sense of humour (which, most people mocked him for, but I actually liked). I would never say he made math exciting, or was a great teacher in the classroom. But, there were nights when I’d be sitting at the table sobbing because I couldn’t understand my homework and my Mom would get him on the phone and he’d always calm me down and help me through it.
Music: Awesome teacher. Amazing person. There is absolutely nothing negative I could ever say about him. Well, he used to grind his teeth. That could be a bit annoying when you were sitting beside him trying to play. But, really, that was it. He was one of my main supports, and friends, throughout high school.
Phys-ed: Female. Nice enough, but for some reason I found her a bit too intense, or something. Or, maybe it was the fact that she made me dance with a ribbon. For whatever reason, during a game of soccer one day my friend I started pretending we were trying to get the ball from the teacher, but we were actually taking advantage of the situation to kick her on purpose. And then, we accidentally kicked and tripped her and she broke her leg. Whoops. I felt pretty crummy after that.
English: Male. Older. He was teased a lot, but I loved him. He used to read to us, for huge lengths of time. It was heaven to me. I think this was when I first really started to fall in love with literature.
History: Boring. Male. It was towards the end of the day and my desk was by the window so I spent most of my time day-dreaming and sketching what I saw out the window. My teacher was fine, I think it was just a bad time of day for me to have to do something that required so much attention and memory.
Geography: Short, rotund kind of man. He’s kind of who you would picture as a high school football coach (and he may have been). But, he was a good geography teacher. I actually enjoyed geography quite a bit with him. I wanted to do good in his class. But, I remember when a kid showed-up who’s t-shirt was all torn-up and full of holes (because he had been bullied) and the teacher made a big joke of it and how ridiculous it was, teasing the boy, and he made him stand at the front of the class while he stapled the holes in his t-shirt shut. That boy was bullied twice that day.