I'll Never Forget Mrs. Norman

My father was in the Air Force and we never lived anywhere for more than three years while I was growing up, and only in two places for that long.  I went to a lot of different schools and had a whole lot of different teachers but there is only one that I can remember vividly. We moved to Oklahoma when I was in the fourth grade and we arrived a little after school had begun and I was put in Mrs. Norman's class. It wasn't easy always being a new kid and I was kind of shy to begin with so when one of the kids made an effort to speak to me I was very glad.  A girl sitting in the back of the class next to me asked my name and I answered her.  All I said was one word: my first name.

Mrs. Norman was teaching math at the time and suddenly in a loud angry voice that caused me to cower in my seat and shake in my boots she said, "Oooooohhh, I see that our new student is soooooo smart that she doesn't HAVE to listen in class!  Why don't you come up to the front of the class and  show us all JUST HOW SMART YOU ARE!  Recite your multiplication tables for us!"  I was terrified and sat frozen in my seat.  I was hoping and praying that scaring the crap out of me would be sufficient punishment for Mrs. Norman and that she would move on with her lesson but nooooooo, she INSISTED that I stand in front of the class for her to ridicule.  She yelled, "GET UP HERE NOW!" 

I thought that I was going to puke and my legs had turned to jelly as I walked to the front of the class.  Everybody was watching me, a few looked terrified on my behalf but most were snickering and enjoying the show.  Now, I KNEW my multiplication tables, but if my baby brother's life had depended on it I couldn't have recited them at that moment.  It was all that I could do not to pee down my leg and I just stood there crying while Mrs. Norman made an example out of me and pointed out to the class that I wasn't nearly as smart as I must have thought that I was.  

I never said another word in her class ever again.  Not to ask questions, not to answer questions, not for any reason whatsoever did I EVER speak in her classroom again.   She changed me that day.  I tried my very best to just become invisible.  I became socially crippled and carried the fear of being made fun of with me throughout most of my adult life. 

I am pushing 60 now and am STILL uncomfortable with any attention focused on me for any reason.  I guess it's time for me to forgive her now so I can stop letting her affect me still.

honeybit honeybit
61-65, F
22 Responses May 10, 2010

Ha she dead now don't worry

I can understand it as my father was also in air force and i got education like u, and them myself also got enrolled in air force and faced such situation. Its sad of her to tease you like that !

I had a teacher in the sixth grade named Mrs.Mallory.This woman hated me! She would find any little excuse to pick on me.And my parents did nothing about it! I found this teacher on facebook.I emailed her.And,as soon as she told me who she was.I let her have it! I told her what she did and everything.Not nice to do.But it did make me feel better,and it gave me closure.

Good for you! :)

i felt so sad reading your story. that teacher sounds like she took out all her own vile frustrations on you. what a bich.

Yeah I had a mean teacher in the fourth grade.she was a ***** screamed in my face ripped up my work always made me look like a fool in front of my friends and one day it got to me.she screamed at me for nothing so I said **** off *****

I feel so sorry for you, big hug,<br />
<br />

Its sad how some adults behave like that to children. They never see the effects their cruelty has on their victims.

Wow! It really is scary what some of those sick people do. You said it, Lilt, EVIL! I understand that kids can get the best of anybody sometimes but come on, aren't teachers supposed to be trained to deal a little better than that? So sad. But I'd be the first to say that it would be a good idea if I stayed out of the teaching profession. <br />
<br />
thank you, Lilt, for that sweet compliment!

EVIL!!!<br />
See??? Another vivid memory of scary teachers.<br />
This is definitely worthy of future study....

And by the way, I love that photo of you, honeybit.<br />
You are a beautiful woman.

Yep. Just Miss Proctor. <br />
Who had to be a hundred years old at the time. <br />
She humiliated me every chance she got.<br />
She accused me of ************, when I was scratching a mosquito bite on my leg.<br />
She made me read aloud, when I came in late from an orthodontist appointment.<br />

So true, Lilt, the memory is selective and I'm glad that the things I remember most often were good. Teachers are so under paid it's a wonder that there are as many good ones as there are. Like I said, the rest did no damage -- just her.

I find it absolutely fascinating that we remember these teachers 40, 50 years later,<br />
yet I can't tell you what I ate for lunch two days ago. <br />
<br />
I'll never forget the misery I felt for a year in Miss Proctor's 3rd grade class. <br />
But I will also never forget... Mr. Reich, Mrs. Thomas, Mr. Freedland, Mrs. Fairfield :-), Mr. Hayden, Miss Boyd, Mr. Kafer, Mr. Smith, and so many others. <br />
They were wonderful teachers.

Hey Sage, You sure got that right, we'd all be a mess if we didn't get stronger with age! (I'm still a mess anyway but I shudder to think what I'd be if I didn't learn as I go)

Geez, why do people who hate kids become teachers? Is it in their natures or what? In school as a little kid I was quite the wallflower. If this had happened to me I would've been pretty bad off. Thank God that the spine gets stronger with age!

Yeah! Shame on them... you ought to have to prove that you even LIKE kids before you can go into teaching. When I hear stories of hero teachers I always remember Mrs. Norman giving the profession a bad name. My oldest brother was a teacher (ret. now) and so was his wife. They were GOOD.<br />
<br />

When I was in first grade, my teacher, a Nun, powered my face with an eraser and made me sit on a high chair facing the class, for the rest of the day. I have no idea what I did, but I sure must have pissed her off. I hope I ruined her day.

*<br />
*<br />
After reading your story, I don't think I will ever forget Mrs. <br />
Norman either.So sad for the child in you all. I think <br />
most of the children back in our day were affected in one <br />
way or other. It was the children are seen not heard <br />
period. We just didn't have much of a voice. Hell, I spent <br />
most of my childhood in the confessional.<br />
<br />
I still remember the feeling of insecurity around teachers <br />
and some adults too. When I went to my daughter's <br />
school for periodic parent teacher conferences, I still got <br />
that feeling of insecurity.<br />
<br />
I get a little crazy when children are victimized. To me it is <br />
as bad or worse than attacking an angel of God. There is <br />
just no human justice or reason for it.

here! here! what YOU said, Grunt 101

I think that some kind of psychological screening should be mandatory before a person can go into a career field where they are entrusted with the care and well being of children -- especially teachers -- because their influence is more often than not a life long influence. It's an unconscionable betrayal of trust when someone who is supposed to teach you teaches you to be afraid.

I had a mean teacher too in first grade. Her name was Miss Kieffer. She was old as is. I could write and do things with both hands and was pretty good at it. She hated that. I got yelled at and she pulled my hair always to try and make me stop. I was scared of her and one of my friends told my mom what she did to me. lol Well, my mom went in and straightened her out. She told that lady to back off and not worry bout which hand I used and what was the big deal. That teacher said I had to choose a hand because it wasn't right to use both. So I guess I ended up choosing left. But to this day I can still do things both way. dumb teacher!!!

Evil ! ! !