I hated school, specifically junior high and high school. I hated it. I hated the teachers. I hated they way they always looked down at me because I was not book smart, and very overweight, and wore eyeglasses. Yes, some had told me that like Mrs. Lowenstein my 5th grade teacher.
I was never good at taking tests, I still can’t. I freeze up when I have to do something within a time limit. I hated the tests that never proved how smart a student was or wasn’t. I hated the way my teachers attacked me because my mother was president of the PTA, Mrs. Kalina especially.
I remember all the reasons why I hated my teachers like my 8th grade algebra teacher who, during the first week of class told us that if we didn’t understand something to let him know. Like an idiot I believed him and raised my hand telling him that I didn’t understand. He asked what didn’t I understand, and I told him I didn’t understand any of it. He got angry at me and asked, “Where the hell have you been this week? You’re a real wise guy.” That was it for me. Even though he eventually learned that I was very weak in math and not a “wise guy” like he initially thought I was, I never asked him another question. At the end of every class he’d say, “Sharon, do you understand?” and I always said yes even though I didn’t. He offered to help me after school but I refused because he lost my trust that very first week.
I have a list of teachers who I hated and who disappointed me. I even remember the reasons for my hatred. It’s a long list. And I was one of those “good kid.” I sat with my hands crossed, never saying a word while a teacher was speaking, never talking with other kids. I was quiet and shy and the teachers hated me for this. And I was a fool. I wish I was different. I wish I had the nerve to yell at them at tell them exactly how I felt. But I was a fool. I still am I guess but I speak my mind a lot more now. When people attack me these days at least it’s for a reason I understand. I might not agree with the attack but I understand it.
I hated school, I despised the teachers but when I got into college I started to change my mind a little. In college I was taught how to think and not just memorize a bunch of crap because I had to pass some stupid test. I learned to like education in college and got along well with my professors. Heck, I pulled a B in the first and only math class I took in “higher education.”
Maybe if I was allowed to “think” and not be in a state of fear because of my teachers I would have done better in junior high and high school. I really don’t want to hear excuses from teachers about too many students in a classroom, and how some students are rowdy and hard to control, or anything else like that. You became a teacher with open eyes, you knew what was in store for you. For teachers to take out their anger, disappointment or whatever they feel about their job on the student is just wrong and possibly criminal.
I hated school, I hated the teachers but I loved learning how to think for myself. I like to learn now, at my own pace without some power hungry woman glaring down at me because I wasn’t good at “book learning” or some other stupid reason they had to dislike me. Too bad I wasn’t taught how to think at the age of five.
I’ve been out of school for decades and maybe things have changed but I doubt it but I could be wrong. Here I am at the age of 65 still mulling over the crap I went through in school. I should have forgotten this stuff 20 or 30 years ago but I haven’t. Too bad that the people who my parents entrusted to educate me did nothing more than to instill a hatred so strong that I feel it to this very day.