"Must Try Harder"

Discussion in 'OT (OFF Topic) Forums' started by brucemillar, Jul 11, 2018.

  1. brucemillar

    brucemillar MB Club Veteran

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    How many of were/are affected by the comments that our "teachers" attached to our School Reports?

    Are you still affected by these today?
    Did they impact on you in a fashion that shaped you for better or worse?

    I was in the first year of Scottish Comprehensive Education (no 11+). I was shipped into an Academy that was an archetypal school of that time (1967/8). The teachers all wore Mortar Board Hats and ankle length black cloaks (no I am not making this up). Corporal punishment was dealt out daily by way of thick & stiff leather belt cut at one end into several prongs. Teachers were allowed to beat you with this across the palms of your hands, backs of your legs, almost anywhere, and they did so, some with an obvious delight & pleasure.

    Our teachers had ever taken an 11+ we would let the school down and were classed as an instant failure and reminded of our failures as often as we could be in any given day. Encouragement was never given out and praise was reserved for those who parents were either employed by the school or donated funds towards it.

    No matter how hard I tried (and I did) I was rubbished and ridiculed. Having elected to leave school at the very earliest opportubity my head of year to fabulous glee in writing all over my final report.

    "All the time this boy (I did have a name that they chose never to use) has a tongue he will never suceed at anything her decided to turn his idle hands and mind to".

    It still hurts and haunts me. Why chose such a venomous sentence? He must have known that it would influence and hurt and shape my future. It took some years for me to shake it off and to drag myself to where I had some confidence left.

    There must be examples were the opposite is true and praise made the difference?

    Would people share?
     
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  2. DrFeelgood

    DrFeelgood MB Club Veteran

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    I went to a grammar school that sounds exactly like yours Bruce.

    The difference was that I was a lazy bastard and fully deserved the 'must throw off his lethargic attitude if he is to stand any chance of passing a single O level' comment that the head made on my final report.

    He was right though, I failed all my O levels on purpose to hit his stats.

    I did end up graduating when I had done some growing up and did end up in his office doing some business with him as an adult.
     
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  3. Ted

    Ted MB Club Veteran

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    I went to a catholic school.
    I can still hear the swish of Father O' Dowd's vestments as he walked down the corridor to give me 'the whack' - a leather strap.
    Like you the teachers wore the gown, always dusty from the chalk, but only wore the mortar boards on special occasions.
    I can still remember 'See Me' in red on my work.
    It was a good school though. the strict rules and corporal punishment did not have in any way a negative effect on my life, but girls were pretty much a mystery until I left at fifteen.
     
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  4. Yugguy

    Yugguy Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I had an insecure childhood and a shitty secondary school education. It did affect me for many years but there does come a point where you have to choose not to let it dictate your life anymore.
     
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  5. optimusprime

    optimusprime Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    We were so unlucky, to have teachers that would hit you with a fist, and knock you through the glass in the window of the classroom door . Or stand over the girls looking down their dress fronts . Remember one day in class we had a woman teacher .And by the way we deserved everything that was handed out . She pulled me out of my desk by my ear ..I just could not stop laughing at her . She marched me out side and closed the door . I stood in the corridor till the bell sounded for break time..And i was told to come in to the classroom . Inside she went to her desk, and out came this ruler .Then she said hold out your hand .Well to cut the tail short she broke the ruler ,i was helpless with laughter ,so she then put two together , and went about hitting my hand till these also broke .It went on to 4 rulers together , these also broke the same way.The box of rulers on her desk are now down to just one .Now she was going to hit my hand with it again . I refused . Well i ended up face to face with the headmaster who though he would try his special cane out on me that was split on the end . . this dam thing did not break. And i never laughed as i marched out to put my hand under the cold water tap .
     
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  6. WDB124066

    WDB124066 MB Club Veteran

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    Never forget at primary school being introduced to the strap as a fellow student was taking his punishment, at the last minute he pulled his out-stretched hand back and somehow the strap hit & broke the adjacent window! What came next wasn't funny.

    My middle school teacher used to write things in my work book to have my parents sign.
     
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  7. wu56Shoozz

    wu56Shoozz Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    And here I thought this was a topic of "How to cure/relieve constipation" when I saw the header..

    On The actual topic its self, although not as old as Bruce (no offense) I can recall flying through third year with glowing reports in both English and Maths.. into 4th year and both topics I was constantly referred to as "numbnuts" and "numbskull" by new year teachers and it always left me wondering "How did I go from such a promising student to such a crass one??" Couldn't understand that... David Moyes (Everton Manager etc) was in my Maths Class - thick as the freakin' wall he was..dressed like "Bond" all the time with high value suits etc..
    Soooo... It came to PE. It was the end of the year and we were on to "Olympic Sports" y'know Javelin/Discus etc. We stood "Out in the field" (Classsic Rock Track) waiting to be called. You got two calls in those days, one to warm up, the second to actually throw..So I'm chatting as you do to yer mates, not paying attention, I'll admit it.. and I heard my name being called.. so I picked up the Javelin and took my throw.. except The PE instructors hadn't cleared the field, in fact one was still marking the last competitor on his board when I threw.. it was my best, a belter if ever.. she flew like the wind, then came the descent.... and down it came. The PE Teacher was holding the board in the left hand, the bottom of the board was pinned to his chest and he wrote on it with his right hand...and ........(Que Stuka Dive Bomber Sound) down it came, broke the board in two cleanly.. I don't know how it missed him or his arm..but it did! It was like an ACME cartoon as the tip of the Javelin *Ptwanged* off his face literally... my name was "Dummy" for the rest of the session....
    On another occasion..it was the discus. "Darkie" was a strong swarthy strapping lad, had muscles in all the right place long before me... Well it was wet, dewy morning, the grass had a lovely coating... so he'd thrown, did well and came back all please with himself. An epic throw if ever... It was my turn. I cleaned the crud off loaded up and spun off, launching on the final spin...well, it slipped on this final spin and... Oh, it went.... Oh YESSSSSS it went alright... at about 6' off the deck traveling like a UFO across the plains.... it was a sight to behold...except, there were the two PE teachers far out in the fields standing chatting.... this thing split the two.. one telling the other to duck and pushing each other out the way as my UFO came hurtling through.....Can you guess what I was called for a second time that day??
     
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  8. pmcgsmurf

    pmcgsmurf Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I just knew this was going to be about school reports after seeing the title. :)

    Strangely I have a beer now with one of my teachers who seemed to love getting that belt out for me many years ago.
    I enjoy the fact he is still working past retirement age and still lives in the same little semi. ;)
     
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  9. ShaunB

    ShaunB Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    t was never quite that bad when I was at school (catholic), certainly wasn't great though.

    I will go on..............
    Early primary years you'd be hit with a ruler, from I think about P4 it was upgraded to the cane.
    Chalk would be thrown at you, along with those wooden blackboard dusters.
    P6 it got turned up a notch, the duster would be aimed at your head - i'm not joking, and was thrown with intent.
    I recall one day catching it, standing up and throwing it straight at him, clocked the old b@stard right on the top of the nose.
    He never threw it at me again after that, but I did get dragged out of my seat by the scruff of the neck, to the front of the class by the headmaster who was summoned, and given "six of the best", where he would lose count, you'd get double and treble numbers and the likes.

    P7 it was the head master himself, he was a right vicious b@stard. When you needed punished, he would bring you to the front of the class, make you face the pupils then he would face your side, and knee you in the thigh, either that or cane you a load of times.
    His tactics were also this, if someone done something, but he did not know who, they were give the chance to own up. Of course no one ever did, so he would cane the entire class.
    He also stank of what I later grew up to know was the smell of whiskey.

    Reading out loud in class was a nightmare, if you made a single mistake on a page, you were put back to the start of the page, which maybe wasn't so bad, however, we had one guy who had a quite a bit of a stammer. He was treated no differently. He still has a stammer to this very day, albeit not very much, so maybe that done him the world of good.

    Secondary school we were upgraded again to the strap, some appeared to be leather, some appeared to be plastic, and all were in various sizes.
    The head master again was a cvnt, he was over 6foot, but would get his heels up on the heating pipes to get extra down force into the hit.

    There were a couple of nice teachers in secondary school, but also some bad ones, the RE teacher in particular was a cvnt.
    You'd get asked questions about Sunday mass on the Monday morning first thing, get the answer wrong, get the strap. I used to simply hope not be singled out for a question, as I didn't attend mass most times.

    Having said all that, most times you were disciplined, you certainly tried to avoid getting "caught" again.
     
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  10. PobodY

    PobodY Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I'm not old enough to have been beaten or ridiculed at school. - The worst I ever got is probably something like "...despite his best efforts, he has failed to achieve...".

    I know an older gentleman who went to the same school and declares it the worst time of his life, so I'm pretty sure it's that attitudes have changed.
     
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  11. John N

    John N Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Any mention of the "Tawse" or "Blackboard Duster" (Wooden for the use of) brings back bad memories to me! :crazy::mad::oops::rolleyes:o_O:wallbash:
     
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  12. John

    John MB Club Veteran

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    I think they filled in the majority of comments with the same old crap.

    I destroyed all my school reports many years ago as I couldn't care less.

    I've am more than happy with what I have achieved in life so far.

    At the end of the day, school reports are just someone's opinion.

    Doesn't mean they are right or wrong.
     
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  13. SPX

    SPX MB Club Veteran

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    I’ve still actually got my school reports somewhere funnily enough, slight paraphrase below as an example of my English teacher (he used a scientific name for the clouds like nebulous something or other)

    “If he put the same effort into his coursework as he does staring out of the window at the clouds his grades would improve considerably. As it is, he won’t so they won’t”

    Really enjoyed PE and History and represented the school in every sport imaginable but had grown out of it in hindsight by the age of 15.
     
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  14. GeeJayW

    GeeJayW Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    'Must try harder', 'See me' etc. Had them all on homework and reports. Thing is, I could have tried harder, just wasn't interested is school. In hindesight I should have put more effort in and then get more out of the education system than I did. My loss I guess, but things haven't turned out so bad for all that.
     
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  15. PaulG

    PaulG Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    My school was firmly in the Mickey Flannagan mould, designed to produce lads that would CARRY stuff to the Van. A van driver's job was just a dream...

    I take comfort in the fact that, in the childhood of nearly every successful person, there's a School Report saying that he'll never amount to anything...
     
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  16. saff

    saff Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I went to a good Primary school and the standards (in hindsight) were high.There were a couple of sadistic teachers but more psychological than physical. I achieved good reports on the whole.
    I joined a Secondary school in 1969 and over the next 5 years I was systematically disillusioned and undermined by some apathetic 'teachers' who were way out of their depth.
    I achieved far more in further education.
     
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  17. John

    John MB Club Veteran

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    Forgot about that - I have a 2:1 Hons Degree in Computing.

    Do schools do refunds?
     
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  18. DSM10000

    DSM10000 MB Club Veteran

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    It seems I was fortunate to have attended schools and had teachers that were, on the whole, encouraging and open to allowing you to develop as . individuals and to that effect offered additional support etc in areas where you showed interest and promise.
     
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  19. AMGeed

    AMGeed MB Club Veteran

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    Schooling in the 50's and 60's did see a lot of corporal punishment dished out, and from what I saw of it, most was justified.
    I wasn't a model pupil, but avoided the cane, blackboard rubbers and chalk totally.
    I don't think any of the comments on my school reports affected me, mainly because in general the comments were positive.

    Probably a subject for another time, but has taking away corporal punishment diminished the teacher from having any control over pupils nowadays?
    From what I read, kids can just about do what they want at school with zero punishment. Even detention has to be agreed with the parents.
    We've gone from being too harsh, to too soft with no inbetween it seems.
     
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  20. Romeo4

    Romeo4 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    11 plus, did well enough to enter an academy but left at 16 as studying was not for me, our maths teacher used the six foot blackboard rule, not a ruler! To whack us over the backside! The lochgelly tause was used regularly.

    Part of the reason I left early was because I excelled in mathematic subjects but was poor in English, history etc, ask me to work out a problem in maths, no problem, don’t ask me to discuss the relationship between Henry 8 and his wives, I could not care less. Remember getting a rollicking from literature teacher for daring to read a James Bond book instead of Shakespeare or Clive of India, still hate them to this day

    Studied for private pilot exams and did not have a problem, mainly maths and multiple choice answers, found the practical side of flying easy, flew for several parachute clubs, studied for commercial licence but run out of money and time to achieve this.

    Worked in various industries but got fed up being paid off cos work transferred to China so worked for local council, a manager persuaded me to study for a HNC in civil engineering, at 60 years old passed and was awarded dux of the class, probably because of my experience in writing reports and how I approached problems. Academy school probably helped too.

    Often wondered how life would have been different for me if I had got encouragement from the teachers st school and a non existent careers teacher.
     
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