Originally Answered: Do you think this teacher had mental health problems?
No, I would not say major mental health issues, but certainly she had bad manners, and needed to learn to speak softly with others and watch how she expressed herself. I would say rather that she had problems with her behaviour.
In today's language, she had what people are calling 'issues' ....meaning personal issues that need to be addressed because they are impeding her work and personal relationships in some way. It is not just a sense of professionalism that was lacking, it was her whole attitude. One wonders what she was like to her family and friends.
Also, I wish to say that it really is not the teacher's business to like or dislike her students: they are her charges, her responsibility, and it is her duty to see that they are made to feel welcome at school, that they are treated nicely, that they treat each other nicely, and that they have good instruction for their studies.
Also, to be fair, maybe these incidents happened at a certain time of the month: PMS, perhaps - and she had not learned to deal with it, or needed a little medication to get her through her rough spots. Alas !
A young child would not understand all that, but certainly her mother would, and since we are all women and undergo such things in some fashion, she needed and deserved help and understanding herself: the mothers might have been more understanding, and interceded in some way, maybe to be sweet with her and find out what was troubling her, if that was possible. I mean...obviously something was wrong. Maybe she had a really bad relationship with her spouse, if she was lucky enough to find one...or worse, maybe he was the same sort of person !! Ouch !!
I do not know where this incident happened, but sometimes in the US we seem to forget that women have days of woe, some of them worse than others. A friend told me that in Europe, when a woman singer is negotiating a contract with an opera house, the management routinely asks her to advise them when she has her monthly cycle, and they then do not schedule her for performances during that time, because her voice and consequently her performances will be badly affected. I think that is not only realistic, but kind. It is possible that this is no longer the case - since our medications are really spiffy these days - but it should be the case still, since some of us are not into such medicines....but, I think it points out how far some go to accommodate in a realistic fashion how women can feel, how their physical conditions overshadow their usual state of well-being.
Also, one more example:::in India, married women usually wear a red spot on their forehead, but if they choose, during the days of their monthly cycle, they can wear a black spot instead of a red one, and they may stay out of the kitchen !! Obviously, it was originally meant as a hygenic custom, but I think it is nice sometimes to have 'official' recognition that I might not feel so well, that I have a chance to lie down or rest, and that I do not for those days have to behave like a work horse come h. or high water !!