Miss Viola Swamp

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Miss Viola Swamp is styled "the meanest substitute teacher in the whole world", in three children's picture books by Harry Allard and James Marshall: Miss Nelson is Missing! (1977), Miss Nelson is Back (1982), and Miss Nelson Has a Field Day (1985).

Miss Nelson is Missing![edit]

Miss Nelson is Missing!
Author Harry Allard
James Marshall
Country United States
Language English
Subject Teachers (fiction)
Schools (fiction)
Publisher Houghton Mifflin
Publication date
August 3, 1977
Media type Print
Pages 32
ISBN 0-395-25296-2
OCLC 248340828
[E]
LC Class PZ7.A413 Mi

Miss Nelson is a grade-school teacher whose students constantly take advantage of her nice nature. After their constant misbehaving and rudeness, and their refusal to learn, Miss Nelson determines something has to be done. But then one day, she does not come to school. "Now we can really act up," yells one of the students (Allard, 8). However, before they get the chance to make mischief, a substitute, Miss Viola Swamp, shows up. Swamp is a strict disciplinarian and gives the students significantly more school work than Miss Nelson ever did. The contrast between the two teachers is so great that the students actively go looking for Miss Nelson and make unlikely conjectures about what may have happened to her, including some students who go so far as to fill out a missing person report with the local police. After many days of tyranny under Miss Swamp, Miss Nelson returns to class and the children rejoice, now being more respectful of her. At the end of the book, it is revealed that Miss Viola Swamp was Miss Nelson in disguise, and a police detective has called off his search for Miss Nelson and will now look for this enigmatic Miss Swamp.

Miss Nelson is Back[edit]

Miss Nelson is Back
Author Harry Allard
James Marshall
Country United States
Language English
Subject Schools (fiction)
Child guidance/behavior (fiction)
Publisher Houghton Mifflin
Publication date
November 27, 1982
Media type Print
Pages 32
ISBN ISBN 0-395-32956-6

After Miss Nelson informs the class that she will be absent for a week, the class fears that they have Miss Viola Swamp as their substitute after a bigger kid from another class warns them about her (suggesting this is a different class than in the first book). Their fears are momentarily relieved when Mr. Blandsworth, the headmaster announces he will substitute. However, Mr. Blandsworth gives extremely boring lectures and so three of the students plan a scheme to disguise themselves as Miss Nelson in an attempt to lead Mr. Blandsworth into thinking that his services as a substitute teacher are no longer necessary. This works, and all the kids celebrate their lawlessness by seeing The Monster that Ate Chicago and pigging out at Lulu's. However, they are unknowingly spotted by Miss Nelson, and the kids are later horrified to see the return of Viola Swamp! Once order is reestablished by Miss Swamp, Miss Nelson returns to class.

Miss Nelson Has a Field Day[edit]

Miss Nelson Has a Field Day
Author Harry Allard
James Marshall
Country United States
Language English
Subject Teachers (fiction)
Schools (fiction)
Publisher Houghton Mifflin
Publication date
May 21, 1985
Media type Print
Pages 32
ISBN ISBN 0-395-36690-9

The Horace B Smedley School football team, the Smedley Tornadoes, "hadn't won a game all year. They hadn't scored even a single point" (Allard, 6-7). Even worse than their lousy skills is the team's resigned and defeatist attitude, goofing off during practice with the attitude of "why bother trying when we just will lose anyway?". This causes Coach Armstrong to crack up, and Miss Nelson sends him on vacation to regain his bearings. Later, Miss Nelson and Mr. Blandsworth overhear some of the students complain about the team at Lulu's ice cream parlor and the problem that Miss Viola Swamp isn't around at the moment, causing them to consider the matter seriously. Another problem the entire school is worried about is that Thanksgiving will have the school's final game, and they are slated to take on the Central Werewolves, one of the city's most vicious teams. The next day, the team is momentarily shocked to hear Viola Swamp is back, only to find it is Blandsworth in a witch costume, to which he gets laughed off the field, with Blandsworth grumbling "Oh Rats! How can they tell?" But then Coach Swamp appears on the field and quickly puts the team in her control. Coach Swamp applies her trademark discipline to the team, demanding tough exercises and no back talk from the players. The team pulls together and sharpens their skills. When Coach Armstrong returns, the team was finally acting like a real football team. Finally, at the football game, the Tornadoes beat the Werewolves "seventy-seven to three", and a pleased Blandsworth treats the whole team to hot dogs at Lulu's. In this book, Miss Nelson is spotted by Blandsworth grading papers while Coach Swamp is warning the deep about misbehaving again - in the end it is revealed that Miss Nelson's twin sister Barbara filled in for her while she was assuming the identity of Miss Swamp (in the pictures, Miss Nelson isn't wearing a watch whereas Barbara is, and in the final picture Miss Swamp's sweatsuit is on Miss Nelson's bed and not Barbara's).