Mr Farthering’s method of teaching was different than the other teachers he didn’t stand and look down at his pupil’s but ‘perched side saddled on the edge of the desk’ this shows that Mr Farthering wants to teach them on their level and to indicate that there isn’t a difference between him and his pupils. I believe that Mr Farthering had a better response from the children this way as he didn’t come across as being patronising, they listened and respected him thus he got results from ‘failures’ like Billy ‘Come on Kes! Come on then!
Nowt happened at first, then just when I wa’ goin’to walk back to her, she came’.
What I found about Mr Farthering is that he generally cared about his pupils ‘Yes I know. How many this time? ‘ ‘Two’ ‘Sting? ‘ Unlike the other teachers. In one of Mr Farthering’s lessons Billy is asked to write ‘A Tall Story’ and I found it moving as he wrote about how he wished his life would be, a mother who cared for him ‘My muther said to me heer Billy theres your brecfast in bed’ a dad who was there ‘ there was a big fire in the room and my dad came in’ and teachers who respected him ‘ all the teachers were good to me’.
To most people they already had this or parts of it but Billy had nothing. Mr Gryce was the head teacher of the school and was very strict.
What I found disturbing is that he seemed to get pleasure out of giving the cane and putting fear into the children ‘I’ll thrash you. You irreverent scoundrel! ‘ ‘He demonstrated the act twice down the side of the lectern’ It gave the imagery that Mr Gryce thought he was God in one sense but had the presents of the devil ‘It’s his favourite trick, this. He likes to keep you waiting, he thinks it makes it worse’
Even though the pupils were scared of him they still referred to him as his nickname ‘Gryce pudding’ I believe this was to lighten the mood before they got the cane and to help reassure them selves that it was going to be ok. Gryce didn’t listen to his pupils because he felt that he was more superior than they were. The one event that really stuck in my mind is when the messenger got the cane even though the young boy tried to explain he was only a messenger ‘The first stroke made him cry. The second made him sick’
I think that quote highlights the effect of the cane and what a traumatic experience it was. Throughout school Billy was bullied not only by his teachers, his brother but by the pupils as well. It was hard for Billy, as there wasn’t any one he could talk to. The main person who continually bullied Billy was a lad called ‘Macdowall’. He bullied Billy about anything he could however the main thing was over Billy’s family. This really got to Billy as Macdowell was ‘bad mouthing’ his mother, father and his brother.
Even though Billy’s mother and brother didn’t really care for him he still defended them, which shows great loyalty ‘What is he then, my sister? ‘ There’s one scene were Billy and Macdowell are fighting in the yard and Mr Farthering breaks up the fight and teaches Macdowell a lesson for picking on people younger than him. This was the first time some one stuck up for Billy and showed any affection towards him, as many teachers would have sent them to have the cane. I believe Mr Farthering did this, as he felt sorry for Billy ‘I don’t know, you always seem to cop it, don’t you, Casper?’
Billy then confided in Mr Farthering about how he felt about the teachers and the way they treat the pupils ‘Teachers. They never think it might be there fault an’ all’ Billy forgets that Mr Farthering is a teacher and I believe this is because Mr Farthering has been more of a friend to Casper than a teacher ‘You daren’t say that to t’teacher though, they’d say ‘don’t be insolent boy, ‘smack! ‘ Billy even admits to Mr Farthering that he can talk to him, and again this is one of the rare times he expresses his feelings ‘An’ anyway…
I can talk to you better than most folks. ‘ Its clear that Billy has a lot of respect for Mr Farthering an can trust him and appreciate the interest that Mr Farthering takes in him ‘This hawk of yours, id like to see it sometime’ In the scene were Mr Farthering goes and visits Billy and the hawk it was the first time a teacher congratulated Billy and said well done for something that he did ‘Marvellous, Casper! Brilliant! That’s one of the most exciting things ive ever seen! ‘ Compliments like this would have done wonders for Billy’s confidence.
I believe if more teachers were like Mr Farthering then education would have gone further and ‘failures’ like Billy would be acknowledged for their talents. The term ‘lad’ used by the teachers is used with aggression however when Mr Farthering used it to congratulate Billy it was said with a whole new meaning ‘And thanks for the display, I really enjoyed it. You’re an expert lad. ‘ I think this would have shocked Billy, as he isn’t used to people being supportive or caring. Another teacher that we meet in this story is Mr sugden who like Gryce doesn’t respect Billy and bullies him.
Mr Sugden is full of his own self- importance ‘Are you trying to tell me about football’ Like most teachers he always believes he’s right and when Billy asks him what stimulating means he spells it out for him, how ever he spelt it wrong but believes he is right ‘Stimulating you fool, S-T-I-M-I-L-A-T-I-N-G, stimulating! ‘ Mr sugden likes to humiliate Billy in front of the whole class ‘Casper you make me sick’ I feel sorry for Billy as he hasn’t done anything wrong but still gets treated as though he has.