IMAGES OF TEACHERS
JIMMY EDWARDS IN 'WHACKO'
|STEREOTYPES AND COMMUNICATORS|
|Babette Cole, The Smelly Book, a smashing archetype|
|General (see foot of screen) Pedagogy and Recitation|
|Bosse, School Mistress|
|Bosse School Master|
|TALES OF SCHOOL CHILDREN ILLUSTRATED|
|The image of the teacher from the 1641 comedy Pedantius|
We may all have a good chortle at the archetype but in Herbert Lister at the Watford Grammar School for Boys I encountered the full Monty of the Popinjay Teacher exercising cruelty and stupidity in equal measure. Mister Lister ( a name ideal for limerick or doggerel) affected a billowing gown, bristling little moustache , whippy cane brandished in the face of the innocent. His reliance on perverse power and suffering from a worrying limitation of intelligence and good sense made me commit myself to getting even in perpetuity.
As he swept into the classroom with his liting chant "WINDOWS..." spinning on his heel to confront the surly and recalcitrant, he suggested that warmth and comfort were not conducive to learning.
As a private joke I often used his words and intonation in later years, even on a visit by our MA External examiner Quentin Blake, who immediately understood my esoteric reference. His close friend and writer in attendance John Yeomans had taught also at Watford Grammer.
It is a general hypothesis of this website that many archetypes in satire and propaganda are, despite the best of intentions, richly deserved. Watching the figure of Bishop Brennan in Father Ted , a vampiric extension of gown into the wings of revenge I shuddered with a memory of this little person. As I was not educated in the A or B streams, I was spared much of his attention.