Friday, April 17, 2009

An Elementary Retrospective - Fifth Grade

When I learned that I’d gotten Mrs. B for my teacher, I was thrilled. My sister, Rita, had had her the year before, so I knew that Mrs. B's class got to sing every morning while she played the piano.

Even better, every spring Mrs. B's class put on a luncheon for the parents. They would choose the menu and plan everything and she’d cook the food and bring it in. Then they’d serve it on long folding tables set up in the hallway.

I could only feel pity for the kids who’d been assigned to the classroom of Mrs. K, who was known for being strict.

Midway through my fifth-grade year Mrs. B received a letter from one of the parents. She read us one paragraph, which accused her of having a teacher’s pet and pointed out that the time we spent singing could have been spent on math and science.

Mrs. B. wouldn’t tell us who had written it, or who the supposed pet was, but her eyes swept the classroom like a general surveying an enemy population. As she folded the letter back into the envelope with shaking hands, she announced she was canceling the luncheon. And, there would be no more singing.

After that, she became prone to wigging out, sending kids to the principal’s office for minor infractions and keeping the entire class after school for breaking rules we didn’t know existed.

In the spring, Mrs. K’s class put on a play about American history for the whole school. It had too many parts for her class, so a few of us from Mrs. B’s class got to be in it. During rehearsals, I learned that her class adored her. She didn’t take any crap, but she was blissfully consistent.

My fifth grade takeaway: Strictness is only skin deep, but crazy is to the bone.

Next week:

Elementary Retrospective: Sixth Grade OR Are Teachers Bound by the Geneva Convention?


  1. Just your luck to get the crazy one, right?!

  2. Guess that's the way the cooie crumbles.

  3. awe...that is sad...somebody zapped her mojo..and she messed up your "would have been favorite year"...You must have been her favorite and they were jealous!

  4. Yikes. So odd...

    My 4th grade teacher had a nervous breakdown midway through the year and was replaced with one of the nicest teachers ever.

  5. I don't think I had an easy teacher in grade school- of course it might have somthing to do with me...

  6. That is an excellent takeaway.

    Too bad you had to learn it so young.

  7. Believe it or not, I was so quiet in the classroom I do not think any teachers even knew I existed, but we did have our share of odd ones...the music teacher Mrs. Ball who pulled my brothers ear all the way to the principal. I rumor went around that my father went to the school and paid her back...

  8. Yeah, I know. In school we used to respect the teachers who scared us shit and snickered at the ones who tried to be friends with us!!

  9. Love the take home lesson, pure truth.

  10. It was the whole Race with Russia age, right?

  11. Guess we better be careful what we ask for.

  12. That's what I always get when I try to beat the system.

  13. But crazy is to the bone! Inherently, Jeanne.


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