It was the first day back to school after Christmas and the New Year in 1969. The first men ever had just orbited the moon in Apollo 8. The world was full of love. Yet here we were, stuck in an English O level class with it blowing a gale and rain beating against the windows of the classroom. The mood was very blue.

After all the festivities, we were studying ‘The Canterbury Tales’ and being taught by Miss Yates. Miss Yates was usually a bubbly young teacher whom we had had since the third year. There was great excitement when we noticed a rather nice diamond on her ring finger. She had become engaged to her long term boyfriend, Ryan, who she met at teacher training college. Being left handed, the diamond would glint in the light as Miss Yates wrote on the blackboard.

She was a very pleasant teacher. She hardly ever got angry and had probably only smacked three or four pupils in the two and a half years that she had been teaching us. And they were well deserved.

Today, she was subdued, even slightly hostile. Most unlike her. Then I noticed, no ring! We later found out Miss Yates had come out of a Christmas party for some fresh air only to find Ryan was in the back seat of his car with a female PE teacher from his school.

“Class, settle down!” She ordered, which got people looking at each other. “Turn to page 78 of your text book. Today, we are going to study the relationship between the main two characters in this short tale.”

I must admit, what with the weather and the subject matter, my attention did start to drift.

“So, Sheila, do you agree with Jack’s interpretation?” she asked me directly.

“Err, well,” I came back from my daydream.

“No, of course you don’t. You didn’t hear it! You can have a detention tomorrow, see if that wakes you up.”

Oh dear, that was very unlike Miss Yates. Someone sniggered at the back.

“Alison, you can keep her company.”

Silence fell and the class resumed.

This was a double period, which meant it lasted for an hour and ten minutes, and luckily was the last lesson of the day. I don’t think I could have taken much more. The lesson continued and the heavy atmosphere appeared to be lifting. There was a sensible discussion on the characterisations in this section, both with us and her, and between us.

Miss Yates was just writing some points on the board and turned back to see Donna being hit by a pen thrown by Amanda, the class idiot. Miss Yates calmly put her chalk down.

“Amanda, come here please.”

Amanda did not move.

“Now!” she barked, and Amanda jumped, as did we all. Amanda got up and walked to the front of the class. “Why?” was all Miss Yates said.

Amanda did not reply, panicking as to what to say.

“Well?” Miss Yates pressed.

“I was bored, Miss.”

An honest yet foolish reply which yielded several people to suck in air at the same time. Miss Yate’s head jerked around. No one moved.

“Well, Amanda, let’s see if I can get your attention another way, shall we?” Miss Yates said, reaching down into her desk and pulling out a white plimsoll.

I never knew she had one, but I suppose it was a standard ‘new teacher’ kit to purchase, much like acquiring pens and some paper clips. This was a whole new side of her.

“Now, Amanda, bend over, put your hands on the floor and stick your bottom in the air for me.”

Miss Yates, on the handful of occasions I had seen her slipper anyone, always used this strange method; bent over with hands on the floor. As she is only about 5′ 1″ tall, it would be easier for her to have the pupil bend over the desk. It would also be much more stable than holding your knees, like some teachers have you doing.

Eventually, when Amanda was sure Miss Yates was being totally serious, she did slowly bend over. Once her palms were on the floor, Miss Yates pulled Amanda’s skirt up and over her bottom. At least she was wearing full and sensible panties. Miss Yates had picked up her plimsoll when there was a wolf whistle from the back of the room.

“David Fletcher, come here, now!” bellowed the now angry teacher.

David did so nonchalantly, and stood facing her with a ‘what are you going to do about it’ expression. Miss Yates had an answer.

“As you find it so entertaining, drop your trousers and bend over. You can have some of the same!”

“No way, Miss. No way. It’s against the rules to ask a boy to drop his trousers. I know this, it’s in the school rule book,” David said smugly.

“I strongly suspect, David, that you have never even opened the school rule book you received on your first day. It is more than twelve pages long and has no pictures,” she said.

The class giggled. Miss Yates ignored it as it added to David’s humiliation.

“I, however, am an English teacher, and I love reading books, even boring ones,” she said theatrically, holding up a copy of ‘Canterbury Tales’.

Opening her desk drawer, she withdrew a copy of the rules book, turned a few pages, cleared her throat and read aloud, “Where corporal punishment is administered, it must be delivered over one or more layers of clothing for modesty. If felt necessary, a teacher may insist a pupil have either skirt raised or trousers lowered, so long as underwear remains in place.”

“I’m still not doing it!” David said defiantly.

“Fine, bend over as you are and I will slipper you over your trousers.” She paused and David did bend over. “Afterwards, of course, I will take you to Mrs Hopkins’ office and ask him to give you six of the best for insolence,” she said in a flat tone whilst holding the plimsoll against David’s still trousered bottom.

Needless to say, he shot up and dropped his trousers. Now I saw why he was so reluctant. His underpants were light green with yellow and orange ducks on them!

A loud cackle rang out nearby, and Wendy suddenly looked very worried.

“It’s getting crowded up here, Wendy. Come and join us. Amanda, you are red in the face. Stand up and I will deal with these two first. Wendy, take Amanda’s place and bend over. Would anyone else like to join us?” She looked at the class. “No? Good.”

As Wendy bent over, Miss Yates pulled her skirt up and picked up the plimsoll, gently tapping it a couple of times on Wendy’s white panties and quickly applying two smacks with the plimsoll, one to each buttock. The sound reverberated around the bare walls of the classroom and Wendy’s buttocks wobbled under the impact.

Now get back to your desk!” Miss Yates ordered.

Wendy jumped up clutching her bottom, and her skirt fell back into place.

There was a quiet muttering, but Miss Yates smacked the desk with her plimsoll. Then there was silence.

“Now David, where was I? Oh yes, I was going to give you four whacks, wasn’t I? Hold still.”

“Four, Miss? That’s not fair. Wendy only got two!”

David was not best pleased.

Whack!  the first stroke landed.

“Because Wendy did not argue,” Miss Yates said as she continued slippering David. “Wendy got two strokes. And before you say anything, yes, that was five, for continuing to argue! Now, get back to your desk.”

David quickly pulled up his trousers and walked, red-faced back to his desk and sat down, carefully.

“Amanda, assume the position.”

Amanda immediately bent over with her hands on the floor, and Miss Yates wasted no time in pulling her skirt up once more. She then applied four crisp whacks with her plimsoll across Amanda’s panties. The girl was in floods of tears by the last one.

“Sort yourself out and sit down!” barked Miss Yates, throwing the plimsoll back into her drawer. Then, without another comment, she carried on with the lesson as though nothing had happened.

Next day, Miss Yates was not in school, and was not seen for the rest of the week. We eventually found out the headmaster had given her compassionate leave and she came back much improved the following week. No one stepped out of place, however, just to be on the safe side. I never saw her use the plimsoll again, just her hand on two further occasions that year.

Sheila, as told to JG