I was 10 years old when I first started home school. Actually, I was taught by Mrs Tennison, a lady who lived up the street from us. We had just moved to Miami, and my mom didn’t like what she had heard about the public school system there.
So Mrs Tennison, a retired school teacher, ran her own little school out of her home. That first year, it was me and six others, so we all got quite a bit of individual attention when needed. The students were all different ages also, the youngest being five and the oldest 11 or 12.
Mrs Tennison was a well-respected teacher but she was taught the old-fashioned ways of teaching, and she believed in those methods. This meant she was a firm believer in corporal punishment, and yes, she meted out corporal punishment to her students when one was out of line.
We moved to Miami right after Christmas time, so I started at Mrs Tennison’s home school in January. This meant that the school year was already half over. I learned that despite her friendly personality, my new teacher could be very strict when she wanted to be.
In fact, I learned this on the second day when Billy Rogers, a five-year-old boy (who should today have probably been diagnosed as ADHD) was acting up. We were all seated around a large table, working quietly, but Billy kept getting up and walking around the table. He didn’t really do anything to bother anybody; he just walked around the table again and again.
Mrs Tennison had given him several warnings, and finally she had enough. “Billy, that’s going to be a paddling!” she announced. She walked over to him and told him to pull his pants down. He complained a little, but complied after a few moments, and soon both his pants and underwear were down around his ankles.
He had to bend over with his hands flat on the table, and he happened to be right next to me, so I got a good view of the entire punishment. Mrs Tennison produced something that resembled a ping-pong paddle. She rubbed it over Billy’s small bare bottom, pulled it back, and then crack! The paddle smacked loudly against his bare skin.
He immediately began to howl, and Mrs Tennison dselivered a total of six hard swats across his bare bottom with the paddle. She then helped him pull up his pants and he returned to his seat, this time not being able to sit still on account of his sore bottom.
Pants-down spankings were pretty common at Mrs Tennison’s. Boys were bared in front of girls and spanked, and vice-versa. She really knew how to spank your bottom so that the sting could be felt for the rest of the day.
My first spanking from Mrs Tennison occurred in my third week there. I continued to talk to another boy after our work was assigned, and for this I was given a pants-down, bare bottom spanking over Mrs Tennison’s lap. I received ten good smacks with her hand, and even that was enough to get me bawling like a baby.
Each of Mrs Tennison’s students were spanked on average of once a month or so, except for Billy. He was spanked almost every week, if not more. After a while, I seemed to get used to seeing it, so that when it was my turn to be punished, it wasn’t as embarrassing since we had all seen each other bared for the spankings.
I spent three years being home schooled by Mrs Tennison and her disciplinary tactics are still clear in my mind as if it were yesterday.