“Back when I was in school, teachers would spank you with a paddle if you misbehaved.”

English Lesson: Back when I was in school, teachers would spank you with a paddle if you misbehaved.

Your grandson got detention today for being rude to the teacher. You think his punishment wasn't serious enough. You tell him what happened when you misbehaved in school.

Back when I was in school, teachers would spank you with a paddle if you misbehaved.

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spank (a child)

"Spanking" is a form of punishment that parents give their kids. The parent hits the child on his or her bottom, with an open palm. It hurts the child, but doesn't cause any permanent injury.

Use "spank" like this:

Did your parents ever spank you?

I got a spanking and then I had to write a letter to say I was sorry.

back (in a time period)

Use "back" to talk about a time period in the past:

Back in the '80s, there was graffiti all over the place in the city.

Back when I was in school, teachers would spank you with a paddlie if you misbehaved.

The time period is usually more than a year ago. It would be strange to use this to talk about something that happened yesterday or last week.

Adding this word makes the time period seem like it was a long time ago.

a paddle

A "paddle" is a stick with a flat part at one end. Some different kinds of paddles include:

  • a ping-pong paddle
  • a paddle used for a canoe

In some times and places, paddles are used to punish children who behave badly. This has become much less common in the U.S., though.

(a child) misbehaves

"Misbehaving" means doing something that you're not supposed to do.

You usually use "misbehave" when talking about children:

He's been misbehaving in class.

The noun form of "misbehave" is "misbehavior":

This kind of misbehavior will not be tolerated!

Occasionally we use "misbehave" to talk about adults. In those cases, it has a kind of sexual tone.

A: Have you been misbehaving?

B: Oh yes. I've been very bad. Are you going to punish me?

(someone) is in school

Being "in school" can mean being in the school building right now:

A: Where's Manisha?

B: She's in school.

Or it can mean that you're currently a student:

A: What do you do?

B: I'm still in school, actually.

get detention

When a student "gets detention", it means that they have to stay in class late, after all of the other students have left. This is a kind of punishment that teachers sometimes give to students who misbehave.