The Mean Teacher
What happens when a small 10 year old who is used to young nice teachers who would read to the class, switches and is put in front of an old teacher who was “old fashioned” and didn’t really care too much, waiting for retirement? In 4th grade my classmates and I had to deal with a really bad teacher that went by Mrs. Page. Mrs. Page was an older lady who had been at the school for at least 30 years teaching in the 4th grade. She had long grey shiny hair, big black glasses, and she always had a yellow pencil behind her ear. Being a part of her class was very challenging for me because my prior teachers were all young and nice and actually cared about us learning. With this teacher it felt like she was just counting down every second because it was her final year teaching until she hit retirement. I found working with Mrs. Page very tough because I was honestly scared of her, and I was not the only kid in the class who felt that way. It wasn’t that she was a mean lady but she was very demanding and it felt like if you answered a question wrong or misspelled a word she would scream at you and make you feel bad. A lot of days, she’d throw worksheets at us and just sit at her desk. Doing this didn’t help us learn it. We just moved on to the next the a day later. This made it very hard to ask questions and speak up because you didn’t want to make a mistake. Learning through this teacher was going to be a tough challenge, and we knew that.
I remember one time we were assigned a book report on our “book of choice”. But once I picked out my book which was the first Diary Of a Wimpy Kid, she said I couldn’t do my project on it because it was too childish, which I found confusing because I was only 10 years old and was a child. She forced me to find a new book and I was not happy about it and remember having a lot of trouble getting through the book she gave me because I was so uninterested in it. I remember her getting mad at me for not being able to sit down and read the boring book she gave me and being really upset about it. I eventually skimmed my way through the boring book and made some below par book report on a book I hardly read and got a bad grade which didn’t make me love reading or Mrs. Page very much. Dealing with this at a young age was very difficult for me because I wasn’t much of a reader in the prior years and my dislike for the class didn’t push me in the right direction.
One person that helped me a lot and kept me in line was my mother. At first my mom thought I was just being annoying when I would come home complaining everyday after school, but then the parent teacher conferences came around and my mother tried to have me switched out of the class. Apparently there was a small argument during that meeting but I was never given much detail. So once my mom could understand where I was coming from she started to help me a lot more than she did before. I think as the year went on I hated reading in school because we didn’t have the freedom I needed like being able to pick our own books or writing what we wanted to write about. But being at home I felt safer and really didn’t mind reading and from 5th grade to 7th grade I am pretty sure I read almost every Mike Lupica book. I also think that those books that he wrote helped me get by and when he came out with a new book I remember being excited to go get it and read it which was a new feeling for me at the time.
Now I don’t mind reading, but don’t seek it. I don’t read books unless I have to, but there are a couple of online blogs that I love and follow very close. More recently I have been interested in sports writing like making recaps of games and sharing them with others who missed the game or could watch for some reason. I don’t think that would be a career path I would be interested in following but who knows what can happen. Looking back at that painful year back in the 4th grade I wonder if being stuck in that classroom ended up being not so bad of an experience. It taught me that I wasn’t gonna be babied my whole life like I was up until 4th grade and in a strange way it pushed me to find books that I enjoyed and would ready willingly. Luckily I had people around me who cared about my school work because if I didn’t get help I’m not sure if I would be where I am today.