Gummo Trotsky has a delightful recollection of a particularly teacher who we have probably all encountered in some form, in some class, which has sent memories flooding back to the daze of secondary school.
One such teacher I can recall was a science teacher who used to swing a helicopter blade against the table to frighten students caught failing to pay attention (down with those do-gooder PC-types who suggest that teachers shouldn’t be entitled to use rocket launchers to instill discipline). This eventually led to an unfortunate incident, resulting in one student losing part of his finger, when the teacher miscalculated with his cruel swoop of the blade, and severed a child’s outstretched finger. Luckily, I was not in that class to witness this foolish event, it happened the year after I had left.
I did however, have the misfortune of having this twerp for 4 Unit Science in Year 11. He had to be the slackest teacher I ever encountered (I would need to have more fingers than a Chernobyl survivor to count the amount of classes he was absent from, but enough with the finger motif). The extent of this was revealed, when he was forced to take his long-service leave while we were in Year 12, which lead to a far superior replacement teacher. But to her horror, she was forced to teach almost two-years of physics and geology in one year. We basically had to start from scratch, as none of us had a clue about any of the Year 11 Physics that our previous teacher had overlooked or failed to teach. I remember finishing second in my whole school in 4 Unit Science with a mark of 62%, the school brain got 70%.
Now, what was to happen to this incompetus teachus, well while he was on his long-service leave, he went and got a job at a private-school to supplement his income. This was until his moonlighting activities were picked up by the Department of Education, and he was ordered back to our public school, fortunately by that time I had graduated.
However, on one of our last days of school there were rumours circulating that this teacher was to participate in the students vs staff cricket match that had been organised. This lead to several intense net sessions, where we practiced our short-pitched bowling, as we talked of “parking this prick on his arse” with a seering quick bouncer or bean-ball (this was before the advent of funky terms like “chin music”). Unfortunately, this cathartic outlet would not eventuate, it seems this teacher might have been aware of the scope of his unpopularity.
I’ve often wondered what happened to this teacher in the end, who treated his year 11 class with such disdain. The last I heard, this fool was still working at a private school, which says something about the alleged elite-nature of a certain private school’s hiring policies. I’m not trying to suggest that I was not fortunate to encounter a majority of committed and capable teachers at my public school, I’d send my kids to a public school, but I do wander how such bad eggs are able to manifest in both the public and private education system?