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Student Writing: Laurentia Batchelder


Posted on Friday, January 20, 2023, at 10:45 PM

My Schooling Experience

My experience in school, no matter what grade, was not pleasant. However, the unpleasantness was mostly exterior not interior. It was the bullying of the other students, because of my size that impaired my concentration. The teachers, I must be fair, did their best to help me. With so many students, they just didn’t have enough time to give me the attention that I needed to learn.

I remember Mrs. Huggens, my first-grade teacher. I really liked her, she was tall with a lot of thick, short hair. However, what I really liked was the way she taught, and her style of teaching. At my age back then, she used pictures, games, and puzzles to embed the knowledge into our young minds. Even then, I was always behind everyone else. Being encouraged to spend more time reading, my parents listened to me stumble through a storybook, over and over again. I tended to put my numbers and letters backward all the time, and the class would laugh at me when I did that. 

You see, for me, the knowledge of learning was woven into the social interactions of my peers on the playground. Sad to say the playground was the school of hard knocks. That interaction spilled over into the classroom and distracted me from the knowledge that my teachers were trying to saturate me with.

My grade four teacher, Mr. Tall, Dark and Handsome, was a very knowledgeable, and creative teacher. I will never forget the charts, pictures, and movies he had to explain and introduce learning to our active imaginations. However, no matter who tried to help me, or how much time I spent, I was unable to finish the tasks set before me. Even with failing grades, the teacher’s comments would say; “Laura has put forth a tremendous effort!” Somehow the knowledge that I was so eagerly seeking, was squashed under the terrible treatment I took from my peers. 

By middle school grade six, I was basically an outcast. Mrs. Carols was very attentive to my plight and had me come in for special help. I warmed at this attention and poured myself into my work, but the outcome was always the same, C or below. It became so frustrating that after working so hard, doing all that was required of me, and even more than that, my grades were struggling. So learning was, to me, becoming very unpleasant, tedious, and cumbersome.

How I wish that we had the resources that we have today. Because if that were the case, I would have made it through school with flying colors. So much has changed since I was in school. There are so many new ideas, and ways of learning nowadays that would have opened so many avenues to me, but alas my only real knowledge at that time in my life was frustration. 

So I guess, my past learning experience was not encouraging or upbeat, but now through Vermont Adult Learning, I have begun to learn. My mind is now a sponge, absorbing knowledge, acclimating different resources, and enabling me to walk with the confidence I never had before. It might sound peculiar, but what a high it is to be counted worthy of learning. To realize the potential of having a grade twelve diploma.

I believe the life lesson that I learned from all this is that the goal is the prize. How you get to that goal is a learning experience in itself. There are many roads to Rome, how you get there is really up to you!


                                                    By Laurentia (Tot) Batchelder

© Vermont Adult Learning

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