In high school, there was a Mr X. He was our home room teacher in Grade 10, I think, sent to whip us into shape after a top free-spirited Grade 9. He was short, with a grey crew cut. He also taught science and enjoyed sneaking up on inattentive (or sleeping?) students and slamming his yardstick down on their desks, to get their attention. Standing on his podium, he was at eye level with me, sitting in my desk. I was tall.
I don’t recall him being actually mean. Austere perhaps. And I don’t suppose we were an easy bunch to manage, being part of the bright bunch in a streamed school.
At the time, I didn’t like him, but after a career of teaching, maybe I’m more sympathetic. I don’t like shaming students; try not too. I had a prof in the MBA who did it, but I loved his class, found his approach motivating, and eventually tricked him into thinking I was unprepared , so he’d pick me to start the class and I could shine. I dropped my eyes as he scanned the room, looking for his victim.
I thought at the time that he was nonetheless a fine teacher. Still do. But I’ve never, ever followed his example with my students.