I was mowing the yard this afternoon when a memory from the past floated into my mind.
I was in the sixth grade at Druid Hills Elementary School. I was in a small group of undiagnosed ADHD boys who delighted in misbehaving. We were creative and effective in our techniques for undermining the teacher and disrupting the class. Our first teacher, Miss B, was fresh out of college – we were her first real teaching job. She quit after three months. Our second teacher, Mrs. S, was more experienced. (I remember that she read Lord of the Flies to us and cried at the end.) She resigned after several months.
Mrs C was the third teacher for this class. She appeared more confident than the other two. It didn't take long for the a test of her resolve to unfold.
Mrs C. told Pat, one of the boldest misbehavers, to do something. He responded "No!". The misbehavers were delighted and watched as Mrs C walked over to Pat. He stood his ground, very cocky, and looked her right in the face. She slapped him hard right on the cheek.
Everything stood still. The misbehavers were stunned. We knew immediately that our reign of mischief was over. We were a well behaved class for the rest of the school year.
By the way: Mrs C was Pat's mother. And she was a great lady.