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Saturday, 8 December 2012

Lessons from History - Part 1

Amanda Blake, the newest housemistress and teacher at the boarding school had a problem. 

The recent review meeting with the Department Head had identified that her Sixth form History class was not performing to the level expected of a school of this standing and the average grades achieved by her pupils at the practice exams in January were well below those achieved by her predecessor.

The departmental senior had indicated that if she did not do something soon she could be out of a job. He would have to make a report on her performance, or lack of it, to the Head Master and since the school depended on producing high achievers he would not hesitate in firing her.

The Head  Master was not convinced anyway, that female teachers were suitable for an all-boys institution, but the equality employment laws meant that he simply could not carry on hiring only male teaching staff. If, however,  the poor grades in Amanda’s year group gave him the opportunity to prove his point he would not hesitate to get rid of her.
Amanda thought that she could get to grips with the majority of her class and improve their grades, but she was keenly aware that there was one bad apple in her group.

 Michael was a tall young man who was a lot keener on sport and girls than he was on studying history. His consistently low marks, approaching zero on occasions because no work was handed in, meant that even her star performing pupils could not raise the class average.

She had tried many different tactics, ranging from embarrassing Michael in the class, to keeping him behind after class to go over the materials one more time. She had recently entered him for a detention, which she later discovered he had arrived late for and done precious little work when he was there.

 In the past few days Amanda had learned from one of her fellow teachers that Michael had asked for his name to go on a ski trip in the Easter vacation, which would be costing his parents a considerable amount of money. She could not help feeling resentful at this news. Amanda had worked hard at school to make her parents proud of her but they did not have enough money for things like ski trips, so she had been left on the sidelines at home when some of her school friends had gone off to the slopes of France or Italy.

Whilst Amanada supervised the evening meal on the day of her review, she thought about her problem and tried to work out what might motivate this young man and restore her self belief that she could be a good teacher.

 After dinner she went to the school office and removed two of the discipline canes from the cupboard on the wall. Amanda recalled the joining interview she had had with the Headmaster, who took time to advise her on teaching practices and alluded to the fact that sometimes only a beating would instil some discipline in the most wayward of pupils at the school.

She walked speedily back to her own cottage near the boarding house and placed the canes under her bed.

Returning to the school building she found a junior boarder in the refectory corridor and sent him off with a message to the Sixth form Common Room. Michael appeared at her classroom door some five minutes later.

Whilst she sat at her desk in the empty classroom and the boy stood in front of her, Miss Blake took only a few short sentences to communicate her message.

Either Michael would agree to be schooled by her in History every second night for 2 months and to be punished when he failed to improve his learning or she would write to his parents indicating that she thought he should not go on a skiing trip, when he was performing so badly in his lessons.

Michael quickly understood that this was no idle threat and figured that he had run out of road with this teacher so he sullenly agreed to the extra-curriculum tutoring. He was not really listening when Miss spoke of punishment and conditions and he was just focused on the fact that he would lose his free time in the evenings.

Amanda explained that the routine would start that night and together they would go over the lesson plans she intended to follow. They might  not be doing much work but she would be showing him what to expect if he did not sort out his ideas and buckle down to some study.

She told him to shower and come to her quarters at 8 pm and he should wear his blue gym shorts and running vest. If he was stopped on the way he could pretend to be out for a run, since he was such a keen sportsman.  .

Grudgingly Michael left the classroom. He was puzzled about the whole running kit business but he was more peeved that Miss had singled him out for extra tuition.

Amanda would tell the Department Head about the extra classes on the next day, so that they were officially recognised, but first she wanted Michael to understand that the rules of engagement had changed and that she was very much in charge of his education and advancement.

A little while later Michael was on Miss Blake’s doorstep and she let him through to her sitting room. In her hand was one of the canes.

Michael grew alarmed as he listened to what was said. She told him that she had had quite enough of his messing around and that she would not stand for any more of it. If he really wanted to go off with his friends and not spend the Easter holiday at some exam crammer institution, then he would start to behave.

Miss Blake held the cane to one side and swished it hard through the air. Michael jumped a little at the sound. She asked him outright when he had last been thrashed with a  cane..

He thought for a moment, thinking that he might say never, but he figured that she would know that to be a lie. He admitted that the Head Master had caned him last term for smoking in the grounds. And the time before that she asked? He looked a little ashamed and said it was for skipping a games session and being rude to a teacher.

Amanda had no knowledge of either of these punishments. She had tricked the boy into saying that he was no stranger to the cane.

Miss Blake swished the cane again, this time from a height above her shoulder and explained that she had thought that the cane was the only thing he was going to understand, if they were to make any headway on his extra lessons.  She told him that she would give him a beating tonight, to make sure that he clearly understood the task that lay in front of him. If he did his work and improved his grades he would get to go on the ski trip. If not, she said swishing the cane one more time, she would refer the matter to his parents. He would be caned by her if he got his lessons wrong and caned again until he achieved his potential.  If he refused to better himself and accept these conditions she would not waste her time on him and matters would take their own course.

With a gesture she indicated that Michael should bend over the back of an armchair in the middle of the room. The fact that he moved quickly to do as she said was enough to tell her that he had accepted the tutoring plan and its consequences.  He appeared resigned to the discipline and she was pleased that she had shown her authority and that it was unquestioned by him. Amanda was only too aware that the Head Master might take a different view of a Mistress beating a pupil in her own rooms.

If Michael did not question her then the lessons might have the desired effect. She had never even smacked a pupil before, let alone used the cane on one, but all of a sudden it seemed quite natural for her, a teacher, to be imposing her will on a pupil, in such a manner. She could not deny that she was a little bit excited at the prospect and she was conscious that there were only a few years between the young man and herself.

When she had him in position Amanda started her lecture about output equalling input, practice making perfect and the need to be disciplined if one wanted to achieve anything in life.

 At regular intervals during the scolding she raised the cane high and brought it down sharply across the curves of his bottom. The thin shorts offered no protection and she could see the line of the cane stroke as it made an impression in his skin. Each time she struck Michael wriggled his hips, trying to expel the pain from his butt, but he maintained his position and seemed to accept the beating as inevitable and deserved.

After twelve very hard strokes of the cane she told him to stand. With a swift movement Ms Blake yanked his shorts down to reveal a reddened bottom with straight lines across, that were already fading from view. As he stood there with his hands trying to cover his rising penis she asked Michael to repeat some historical facts that he had learned about the American Revolution. Unfortunately nothing came to mind and he muttered that he could not remember anything, although her class lesson on this subject had only been a few days ago.

Angrily she told Michael to pull up his shorts and to sit on the chair. She handed him a piece of paper on which she had typed 12 facts. Amanda told him that he had ten minutes to memorize them. He stared at the paper and realized that he knew most of the information from that previous class – he just hadn’t paid enough attention to commit them to his memory.

The revolution started in the 1770’s
The British fought the French to get them out of the North American colonies
This was known as the Seven Years War
Britain imposed a series of taxes on the colonies known as the Stamp Act
The colonies lacked representation n the British parliament and considered the taxes illegal
In 1773 Samuel Adams raided British ships in the Boston tea Party, to destroy over £10000 of tea owned by the British East India Company
The colonies set up their own governing bodies to replace the British authorities
In 1774 the colonies devised the First Continental Congress
The British sent troops to Boston to reassert their authority
Militias were formed to fight the British
In 1776 the Second Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence
Thomas Jefferson was largely responsible for drafting the Declaration of Independence

When the time was up Amanda passed him a pen and told him to write down on the back of the paper everything he had memorised.

The result was not good. He got 5 of the facts fully correct and one nearly correct .

Bringing Michael to his feet once more she turned him and bent him back over with his hands on the seat of the chair this time. Amanda yanked his shorts down and laid seven hard strokes, for each incorrect answer, across his bare bottom. Then she placed the paper in front of him on the chair and told him to read out each fact of history. Each time Michael spoke she beat him with a single cane stroke. His bottom was on fire by the time he got to the last line.

Amanda pulled the young mans shorts back up with one hand and told him to turn and face her. There was evidence of tears in his eyes but he straightened himself up and rearranged himself inside his shorts. He didn’t have an erection but nevertheless he felt himself stiffening at the sight of the young woman holding the cane.  The beating had been harder than he thought she could give and, whilst it was certainly not as harsh as a caning from the Head Master, he was very sore from the thirty or so strokes.

Miss Blake told him that he could go now and that he would be tested on these same questions the next time they met. She hoped that they were now securely in his brain and that they could move on to the next part of the topic. He was dismissed.

Following him to the front door she smiled as she saw him rubbing the pain away from his bottom with one hand down the back of his shorts. She was pleased with herself. 

That was one lesson she felt might have been well learned. It was satisfying to think that the History syllabus was such a long one. There would be plenty to press into Michael's head in the future and she would probably be seeing quite a lot his bare bottom. She gave a little swish of the cane to hurry him back to his room.



  1. Michael,

    Excellent story. I may have failed History if Amanda was my teacher.


    1. Hi Joey
      Thanks. I guess it is a common theme but one that I enjoy writing about.


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