I did not like my kindergarten teacher and she did not like me. She was one year away from retirement (the classic “cop who gets shot in an eighties movie” refrain), and not especially interested in dealing with the trouble I presented.
It’s not that I was really a troublemaker. It was that I went in knowing how to read and write (not a lot, but at least kindergarten level). I knew the alphabet. I could count to a hundred. Basically anything she would have to teach me.
Worse, I would finish my work before the other kids and then want to play. Which would have been disrupted, and therefore wasn’t allowed. But, wonder of wonders, a five year old forced to sit at a table with nothing to do is about as disruptive as a five year old playing while the other kids are working. Kindergarten was the only time I remember being sent to the corner.
I hated school. I hated my teacher. I pretended to be sick a lot in that year. In fact, if I hadn’t come in ahead of the game, I probably wouldn’t have “passed” kindergarten. I think, altogether, I missed just shy of a year of school.
My kindergarten teacher had a huge impact on my life. She taught me that learning could be done outside the classroom. She taught me patience, and how to bite my tongue. She taught me how to fake sick, which may be part of why I enjoy acting and telling stories. I learned how to entertain myself. It taught me not to blindly accept authority.
I was probably a bit of a shit, I don’t know. No other teacher or caretaker ever seemed to have the trouble this woman had with me. It’s definitely contributed to me being a bit combative in classroom debates. A little punchy. But never, I hope, a dick.
She taught me that while I had to go to school, if I really wanted to learn I couldn’t make it my sole source of education.
Probably not the things parent wants their kid to learn when they go off to kindergarten for the first time, but it is what it is.
Do you have any teachers who, for better or worse, have greatly influenced you?