I was the shortest in the class and was always forced to be the baby when we were playing house (I got out of it by saying I would be the grandma. Still, that didn’t stop them from trying to make me go in the crib). Even so, that was not the most traumatizing part of year for me. That would fall on a day we had a substitute teacher.
This particular sub was your stereotypical mean substitute. She had a witchy voice,greasy hair,hobbled with authority, and carried a weapon, her cane. On this fateful day, she had a group of us at a table writing letters. I do not remember which letter it was but it was our first time working on it and it was one of the hardest ones.
Now for a little background on my lovely kindergarten teacher. She was always patient and let us try writing the letter the first time before correcting us and making sure it looked right. She also rarely ever used erasers and prohibited us from using them. She even cut the erasers off of our pencils. At the time I thought this was strange and a little cruel, but looking back it was good because we got to learn from our mistakes, see how we did it wrong, and how to fix them.
Back to the story, the substitute did not see things that way. Because it was our first time writing this particular letter, none of us wrote it correctly. She took all of our papers when we were halfway through the page, erased the whole page, yelled at us for writing the letter incorrectly and made us write it again. Six-year-old me was terrified of doing anything wrong and getting in trouble for any reason whatsoever (then again, so is sixteen-year-old me) and almost broke down into tears. I thought that she would hate us forever, but apparently she said we were the best class she had ever had and baked us a cake. Even so, that was partly a beginning for my long running fear of substitute teachers.