A World of Difference
Reminiscing about teachers both bad and good, I am transported back to my Junior High School, Grade 8 to be specific. I experienced my worst teacher ever and one of my best teacher ever in the same semester.
The worst teacher ever was my math teacher, Mr. Andersen. He was 50+ years old, short, squat and balding. The man did not even really teach. He would mumble for a few minutes at the front of the classroom drawing a formula or two then tell us to read our textbooks and complete the assignment at the end of the read section in the remaining 50 minutes of class. Anyone silly enough to ask a question was quickly humiliated, so that stopped early in the semester. Class discipline was maintained by Mr. Andersen throwing chalk, rubber erasers or the chalkboard eraser at the offending party which was often me. He would slap a yardstick down on your desk or grab you by the short hairs by your ears. It was very demoralizing and many were brought to tears. Fortunately, I could learn math on my own and would tutor my friends and others in the class so they actually passed. I heard after I got to High School that he had been forced to “retire”.
In stark contrast, Mr. Brown, my Grade 8 Social Studies teacher was an absolute gem. He was tall, muscular, full head of hair and about 30 years old. He always academically challenged us in class and on our assignments. The assignments were practical and interesting covering a wide array of topics. Some topics were ours to choose if we wished. Topics were lively debated in class with orderly input encouraged from the whole class. He was always willing to help out when you were having difficulties with assignments or school in general. With him around you felt that you had someone in your corner protecting you.
The only positive side to Mr. Andersen’s class was I learned I could tutor well and enjoyed doing it. Even though I frequently suffered his wrath in class for doing it. The slap of the yardstick would make my ears ring. Being yarded out of the classroom to see the Principal by the short hairs was very painful. But standing up to him and helping the others was worth it.