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I Hated My Primary School

by Emilie Westall 4 years ago in student

I'm very petty.

I went to two different primary schools, neither of which were perfect. The second one was, however, significantly better. But I even hated nursery. The time where you're supposed to have the most fun during school. It's basically a daycare with learning colours and shapes.

Just to get this out there, I have an amazing memory. Especially with the things that caused me pain and stress. My whole school life fills up that category quite nicely. I'm 19 now and I have so much to say about my never ending nightmare.

For nursery, I had two teachers. Miss Rider and Miss Judd. They both hated me. I know because I got in trouble for doing anything the other kids would get away with. But no one was safe from either of their wrath and hatred toward children. I remember I accidentally tripped over Miss Judd's foot and got up and dusted myself off. No harm done. This angered Miss Rider very much and she forced me to apologise to Miss Judd for tripping over her. I'm not even exaggerating, I remember it like it was yesterday. I got in trouble for tripping over a foot that I didn't make a fuss over.

One time I found a toy in the class of little bears labelled 1 - 10 and they all fit into a miniature bed made of felt, strapped over a piece of cardboard and the bears would fit in like it was a very big pocket. I really liked playing with this toy for some reason, as did the other kids and I took it over to the play area where we would play games with the bears and such.

Because I'm such an overachiever that never lasted to exam period, I already knew my numbers 1 - 10 at age three so that's how I left the bears in the bed when I put it back. But for some reason, out of nowhere, Miss Rider didn't like that at all and picked me out of the crowd of kids for playing with the toy she apparently didn't want to be played with. I lied and said it wasn't me. I'm pretty sure I got away with it. She then went to use it to teach us how to count to ten.

Another time, we were doing this performance thing on Little Red Riding Hood which involved us painting a picture of our characters. I was the wolf. Lord forbid you press too hard on the paper and make a hole or paint outside the lines. The death glares I got off Miss Rider for puncturing my wolf could shake Hitler in his grave. The girl next to me was the grandmother and she decided to paint her green all over because it was simply her favourite colour. We were all three years old, we weren't Van Gogh. That didn't stop Miss Rider from being an art critic on a bunch of toddlers though. "Why is she green? Is your grandma green? You've ruined it."

I did eventually move back to the same primary school and you'll understand why when you hear what happened in the first one.

I started primary school back in 2003 where I was only a little girl, ready to learn about the world around me and get as messy with the paints as I possibly could. Not the case.

I was already used to the school environment because my nana was a caretaker and dinner lady at the school and every other day, she would take me with her to the school while she cleaned as long as I promised to clean up after myself. After all these visits, I was so very excited to start school.

My dreams were crushed when it was my first week and I had the lovely Mrs. Johnston teaching the receptions, year 1s and 2s.

The school was still really small when I left. Around 35 students in total, all ages reception to year six. Though I hear it's much bigger now. All these students were sorted into three classrooms when I started, which eventually turned to two because of the low student population. All the receptions to year 2s were in class one and all year 3s to year 6s were in class two with a pretty big computer room separating the two.

But back to Mrs. Johnston. I remember her being an overweight woman with bleach blonde hair in a bob with signs of aging in the face. Normally, reception teachers would be very sweet to the children because we were all between the ages of three and four. But no. She was the one that gave me the harsh reality that teachers do not enjoy being in school and probably don't enjoy children even more.

I'm pretty sure she didn't like me. I don't know why, but I remember her always picking on me by always saying I got the wrong answer because she made one up in her head or just for daydreaming for a few seconds. It was just always me she took out her anger on for some reason. One day we were learning addition and most of the other kids, including year 1s and 2s, got pretty easy questions like 6+4 and 5+2 and so on by holding up her fingers for us to count. Then she got to me and held up ten fingers twice and then two. As I said, my nana helped me get used to the school environment and that includes learning to count to about 50.

After Mrs. Johnston held up 10+10+2, I answered 22 because that is the right answer... right? No, it was 16. Your guess is as good as mine.

One day, we were making paper plate masks and I thought to have some fun and make mine look scary and try to scare some people. I tried scaring Mrs. Johnston first because I probably felt like she deserved it. She just sternly told me to go away. I was so happy to see her leave the school.

She was replaced by Mrs. Kellet who I loved to pieces simply because she was the first teacher to not treat me like a second class citizen. Or a brat to be less dramatic. However, this is when bullying from the other kids started to show up. I used to wear glasses and one of those eye patches. I don't know if they still do those. They're like a plaster that goes over your eye and it's supposed to help train your eye to see better or something. But yeah, the other kids thought that was weird and often teased me about it. At the time, I didn't care too much of it because I just liked to do my own thing.

My least favourite part of the day was playtime where we all went outside to play unless it was raining. I didn't have any friends during primary school because of the teasing and the fact I just didn't like anyone or the cold or being hit with a ball of whatever sport they were playing. So I just sat in the corner for 15 or so minutes. I often made friends with the plants and the one, very big rock. It's something I did up until I was a mid-teen because I just got into the habit of it. I gave inanimate objects voices and a personality and even felt bad for them whenever something bad happened to them.

We also weren't ever allowed on the grass despite it taking up more than half of the playground. If it was perfectly dry, we could play on it. But I'm talking PERFECTLY, perfectly dry and the dinner ladies watching us all were very critical. One due drop could cancel a day on the grass. When we were allowed on the grass, it was like Christmas came early.

The dinner ladies are an entirely different rabbit hole. They were just worse than the teachers, policing the school and you gotta get those vitamins because chocolate is the devil and will kill everyone you love and so on and so forth. But there's a difference between getting kids to eat their greens and literally controlling what they eat and when. I still remember the order of the food items we had to eat if we had a packed lunch. If we dare eat our food in a different order, we were sent outside the hall.

First, we had to eat our sandwiches, then our fruit, then yogurt, then crisps, then our chocolate. We also weren't allowed to borrow a spoon because reasons. If you had a yogurt and your parents forgot to pack a spoon, tough luck because you're sure as hell not allowed to drink it. You had to eat everything in the lunch box and you were not to, under any circumstances, throw anything away. They would literally search the bin every day for uneaten food like raccoons just to announce to the hall that it wasn't eaten. I know because every so often, the found an apple or a cheese string or something and demand to know who threw it away.

Usually, you're allowed to sit anywhere you want in the dinner hall but not our school. We had our own places we had to stick to every day and eat as quietly as possible. If you had school dinners, they called you up one table at a time to get your discoloured slop they called food. The deserts were always the best part because they had more flavour in them. Other than the custard which formed a thick skin on top if you don't eat it quick enough. Because the deserts were the best part, they ran out the quickest so when the last table was called up, they were all gone so whoever was last got whatever they called lasagna. Don't even get me started on the shockingly disappointing blob of ketchup you got with your chips. There was like an ice cream cowl full of it and everyone got half a teaspoon. Even if you came back for seconds, you're not allowed anymore. There'd be a mountain of undercooked chips and a minuscule drop of ketchup to satisfy that.

Every Christmas, for one very special day, for desert, you got these Neapolitan ice cream snowmen things which were like a little early christmas present you got from the school. As I said, deserts run out quickly and if you're the last table to be called up, that means no ice cream snowmen for you. It's like the worst day of the year for you.

One day when a miracle happened and we were all allowed on the grass on a warm day, I decided to sunbathe. Y'know, just to lie down on the grass and enjoy not being tied to a leash. Oh wait, no, you're not allowed to do that because they don't know if you're alive or not if you're lying down. Not exaggerating, that's legitimately the reason why I can't lie down on the grass.

I wasn't there but my sister was on a school trip and one of the infamous dinner ladies (they were both infamous but whatever) yelled at her for disrespecting a gravestone. My sister explained that they had been previously sitting on the grass and she absentmindedly pulled at the grass. So after they all stood up to continue walking, she let go of the grass in her hand and the wind happened to blow the grass onto a grave stone and my sister never heard the end of it for the rest of the time she was there.

We also used to have hula hoops and balls to play with sometimes to make playtime more interesting. They stopped that for reasons unknown

Every so often, there'd be a competition between students to win a prize. It was usually an easter egg but one of two families would always win. Either one of the kids from the head of the PTA (I heard she got arrested for benefit fraud recently. It was in the local news), or one of the dinner lady's kids. When there was a raffle going on at Christmas, there was always one woman who won pretty much everything because she always spent a fortune on raffle tickets and drew the raffle herself.

All during year 3 to 6, I was bullied for having red hair and this really got to me at the time. It doesn't anymore because I've heard it all way too much but back then, despite it happening right in front of the teacher and they know they saw it, nothing was ever done. One kid destroyed my exercise book because a corner of it was on his side. My hair was usually pulled by this girl called Meg who was one of the PTA head's kids who won everything. You can't touch me or else you'll get the ginger disease. Think of any insult you can possibly think of and add the word Ginger anywhere with it and I'll more than likely have been called that.

After months of battling teachers, I finally moved back to the primary school where Miss Rider had her rein. My mum told she lost her child during pregnancy when the egg embedded itself in the fallopian tube rather than the uterus and as the child grew, the tube broke and killed the baby. That is so very unfortunate and I do feel bad for her for that. It still makes me wonder though, that she wanted a kid yet hated all the ones she was with in nursery.

She was nowhere near as bad this time around but Miss Judd was. I'll never forget this.

I wasn't at the school for long. I was shy, very introverted and didn't know hardly anyone. The teachers were less strict about the dryness of the grass at this school than the dinner ladies at my old school and the field was huge. You got onto it by first going down this banking slope and we all started to run down it. With it being sort of slippy, I thought to slow down and there was a guy behind me who was known for being the bully, pushed me and I fell down with my head landing very closely to a rock poking out the ground. So I was now wet and muddy and a little shook up from almost having my head cracked open. So I took myself off to a bench just to watch everyone. I must have been there a while because Miss Judd then yelled: "Stop sulking, it's no wonder you don't have any friends!" No word of a lie, that is literally what she said to me and I heard that I could have gotten her sued for that. Or the school at least but it's a bit late for that now, considering it was about eight years ago.

If that was her way of motivating me to be more extroverted, she has some things to think over.

The dinner ladies at this school weren't great either but at least they didn't act like teachers with authority. They just really couldn't be bothered being there. I got bullied at this school too for my red hair but what made this school better than the other was that I actually made friends. I'm pretty sure I still have one or two of them on Facebook. Or at least can easily find them.

That pretty much sums up my primary school life which is my first hellhole that I managed to escape. Secondary school is another one entirely which I'll get to at a later date. After that is sixth form which started great then crashed and burned horribly. It's another thing I'll talk about later on.

Thank you very much for reading. I hope you got a laugh out of it XD.


About the author

Emilie Westall

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