Remembering Mr Scott
A hot summer’s day has sent my mind back to my schooldays and in particular to my favourite teacher in Primary (Elementary) School.
His name was Mr Scott and he was my teacher in 1968, the year I turned eleven. What do I remember about Mr Scott? We children thought we were very clever because we had discovered his first name was Phillip, although I don’t know if he spelled it with one “l” or two. He was a young teacher then, probably in his early twenties and I seem to recall that he had dark, curly hair. He was different from the more traditional older teachers and popular with most of the students.That year he traded in his rather nondescript looking car for a red MG sports car. I would often see him leaving the school in it, either with one of the young lady teachers which always caused a great deal of giggling amongst the class, or with the teacher from the classroom next door, Mr Schacht. Mr Schacht was a very tall man and you can imagine how funny we thought he looked in Mr Scott’s car.
Classes were big then, we had around forty kids in our class and that was pretty much the norm but Mr Scott kept everything under control and managed to make classes fun even for me and I really didn’t like school. He did that by making us laugh and by sometimes changing the normal routine if he thought it would work better. For example if the weather was very hot he would sometimes ditch the scheduled afternoon lessons and we would spend the afternoon doing art while he read poetry to us. Sometimes we’d listen to music instead, no CD’s or digital music in those days though. Our classrooms were not air-conditioned and while we were allowed to go home early if the temperature reached a hundred on the old scale Mr Scott realised that it was just as hard to concentrate on grammar or arithmetic when it was 97 degrees outside. He would try to make the heat more bearable by reading about cool things like rain too. I still remember those hot afternoons with pleasure even after all this time.
I think that art must have been Mr Scott’s special interest. He was a very good artist. He used to draw amazing pictures in chalk on the blackboard in our classroom and would change them regularly. It wasn’t just me who thought he was good, other teachers used to get him to come and draw on their blackboards.
I know that Mr Scott was still teaching at the school the following year and possibly the year after that but I don’t know where he went after that. I sometimes wonder, he must be retired now.