It was 1955 and I encountered my first really scary, mean teacher.
This year would be "life in the trenches" so to speak and enough it seriously gave me nightmares.
Back then one didn't go home and tell parents how things were - well, the good things, but - - -
To get to the point, this teacher gave a strap on a pupil's hand for every spelling mistake. One little guy, Sammy, was tortured by her and as I think back, maybe he had a slight learning disability.
I lived in mortal fear of the strap and escaped her wrath til one day! An error in our spelling test!
I was so terrified and really offended that I "got the strap" as always studied to avoid.
Moving forward to school's going back in after Christmas and the staff solemnly gathered in our room to tell us that "two teachers had driven an 8 hour journey together to visit family. There has been a terrible accident an one has died." Seriously, I'm sure I wasn't the only pupil making a wish at that moment.
Wishes don't always come true - learned at that time. It was the sweetest, kindest teacher who had passed away. Did I or do I feel guilt for my feelings - no.