Friday, August 20, 2010

Sixth Grade

What do you suppose The Boy encountered when he showed up in September to start sixth grade? I'll tell you. Miss Gardiner was his homeroom teacher, which means that except for the time the kids went to Mrs. Kennedy for geography and to Miss Anderson for music, they were entrapped with Bristol's most fearsome teacher for the entire day. (Sister would disagree with this, since she had been in Miss Ramsey's second grade class. But since the lad did not know Miss R, she didn't count.)

The school was laid out along a short hallway such that as one entered the front doors, he would walk up a short flight of seven steps to the main floor. Or he might walk down a similar distance to the basement which, other than the "gym" was a complete mystery. Above the stairwell on a balcony was the principal's office, where the secretary and the principal could survey their realm through the plate glass wall that separated them from the possiblity of having to actually hear what went on below. To your left as you walked down the main hallway, you would pass second grade, third grade and finally come to fourth grade (Miss Anderson, who was also the music teacher.) Back down the hall toward the front, assembly room, fifth grade, and finally almost under the office, sixth grade.

Two memories from sixth grade. The day the police showed up at school. The teacher ordered all the fifth and sixth grade boys to the gym where a big ol' cop walked past us all, looking at our feet. Then his assistant brought pieces of poster board, laid one in front of each "suspect" and required him to leave a footprint on the paper. Scared the bejiminy out of me. For no good reason, because I hadn't committed any crime. This time.

Second memory. The boys in Miss Gardiner's class made it up amongst themselves that at exactly 2:00 o'clock sharp by the Regulator on the wall they would all rise, walk toward the back of the room, circumnavigate the area and return to their seats. By the time the first boys had crossed the back and were walking down the west side of the room, Miss Gardiner had flung the east classroom door open, where she stood directing traffic out of the room with sharp instructions to "March up those stairs directly to the principal's office!"

Which is what happened.


Anonymous said...

Miss Gardiner overreacted to the 2:00 plan.

Vee said...

Wasn't there also a pencil sharpening incident in Miss G's class?

Secondary Roads said...

That was the year in my school that one of the girls (can you believe it?) stuck a thumb tack in the center of the teachers chair. Imagine the girls respond when the teacher sat down with no reaction whatsoever.

vanilla said...

Jim-- In my opinion, as a child, and still as an adult, I think Miss G overreacted to lots of stuff. I'm sure she did her best by us, but truly I think she lacked a sense of humor.

Vee-- Thanks for bringing that up. Yes.

Chuck-- We must have had a generation of "wooden teachers"?