I've been corresponding with a friend about elementary school. Specifically, we have been writing about teachers and other things we can remember from class. Our stories are sparking more and more memories. I don't know if being a kid magnifies what were really mundane experiences, or if some teachers are cruel and unbalanced - or if we just had a large crop of the cruel and unbalanced - or if that's just the way things used to be.
But we both have memories - and many of them are shared - of truly terrible things happening, of too many teachers who seemed to take pleasure in scaring and humiliating little kids. I'm thinking about the students in my classes - the majority are pursuing certification - and although (sadly) there have been a few, I have not encountered very many who would fit that description. What gives? Have times and methods changed so much? Or does gaining teaching experience, and all the associated hassles, breed such contempt?