A child-free, anti-stress escape

©Barry Sandland/TIMB = Schoolteacher and her bike

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – Stres, stress, stress, stress – ride, ride, ride, ride

“I work in a school and it helps with the stress.

Photographer’s notes: Red hair, blue stockings. I loved this image as it slipped past. The flash of colour and how much humour and ease this would bring to a classroom of children.

I was raised in the UK at a time when getting a ruler slapped across the back of your bare legs ( we all wore shorts) was a daily occurrence. Casual brutality by teachers and headmaster was a regular instance in my Coventry classroom.

When I moved to Canada (with my parents, not alone, thank you), I was exposed to a completely different teaching mentality. On the first day, when taking my assignment to the teacher, she moved her arm to put it around my back and give me some reassurance and comfort. I was sure I was going to be slapped and I recoiled from her touch.

Over the next few days, I realised a school could exist where corporal punishment was not meted out with ease. That there were teachers who spoke nicely to you, who actually liked children. It was revolutionary in how I started to enjoy education.

It was a few years later, watching TV, I saw the UK had banned the strap in schools. That medieval device was not seen in Canada.

Ah, the good old days….

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