Mrs. Bowen. I’ll never forget her. She wore a brown wig, walked stiffly as if she had a board plastered to her back, and never spoke a word. That is, unless she was embarrassing us in front of the class. She was my 6th grade math teacher, a title which I’m not sure how she acquired since she never taught anything.
All of our learning was done out of a book. If we didn’t understand the math problems in the book, we’d have to ask a fellow classmate. We learned early on that asking Mrs. Bowen was not in our best interest. However, it took each of us a try before we finally figured that out.
“Mrs. Bowen, I don’t understand this math problem. Can you help me?”
“Help you?! No. Ask your classmate.”
I asked around, but it seemed that everyone I asked was in the same predicament that I was.
“Mrs. Bowen. No one knows how to do it. Can you please help me?” I pleaded.
“Jill. Come to the front of the class,” she ordered. Slowly I walked to the front of the class.
“Everyone! Listen up. Jill here doesn’t know how to do the problem. Ha… ha… ha!” Spitefully she laughed, urging the kids to join in.
Once everyone had a good laugh she turned to me, “Go sit down and figure it out yourself.”
I can’t remember a single kid in that class who didn’t get embarrassed by Mrs. Bowen. Up until 6th grade, math was by far my favorite subject. I loved it and couldn’t get enough of it. After that year, I couldn’t stand to look at a math problem.
Now that I’m older, I wonder if Mrs. Bowen even knew how to do the math problems herself. Perhaps that’s why she never helped us. She didn’t know either and was too proud to admit it. If that’s the case, how did she get that position in the first place? Aren’t teachers supposed to prove that they are qualified?
Or, maybe she did know and was simply a mean teacher. Regardless, Mrs. Bowen ruined math for me. I didn’t learn one single thing in math class during 6th grade, and it became the subject that I struggled with the most throughout the rest of my school years.
Oddly enough however, a few years after graduation I went into the accounting field. But, a lot of the credit for that goes to my handy calculator. A great invention, especially for students like me who had teachers who refused to teach.
This post is for the Daily Post prompt: Land of Confusion
Which subject in school did you find impossible to master? Did math give you hives? Did English make you scream? Do tell!