Author Topic: The Only Thing I Could Do...  (Read 6453 times)

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violinp

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The Only Thing I Could Do...
« on: April 04, 2012, 03:41:16 PM »
This story is a couple of years old, but here goes:

BG: I was bullied a lot in school. A middle school teacher of mine - let's call her Umbridge - was complicit in and joined in the bullying, and her treatment of me was partially the set - off for my deep depression. After my eighth grade year, she was moved around to several schools, but I didn't keep track of her whereabouts (I only knew because I saw her at several elementary schools when the orchestra visited). /end BG.

I was taking an elective literature class my senior year of high school. On the first day of the semester, I walked into the room before class was due to start, and I saw...Umbridge. A teacher who was one of my biggest bullies was sitting there at the teacher's desk doing work. The classroom was empty but for we two. I think I froze for a bit - I was too in shock to say anything - but I managed to sit down in a desk that faced away from her so I could collect myself. I was panicking, thinking that the schedule had been changed, and now I would have to refuse to take this class, because there was no way I was going to put myself through another minute of having that woman as my teacher.

Suddenly, other kids came in, and so did the teacher who was scheduled to teach the class. Apparently, Umbridge had been teaching a class scheduled in that room before my class and was just finishing up some paperwork. I secretly breathed a sigh of relief...until Umbridge was leaving and walked past me. She gripped my shoulder and said to my teacher, "And this one is really good at writing, aren't you?...aren't you?" My hands started to shake, and every evil thing I'd thought about her came into my mind, but I knew it wouldn't look good to bawl out a teacher, especially in front of a bunch of people who didn't know me or my history with this teacher. So all I did was clench my jaw and nod.

It may not have been cathartic, but at least I came out smelling like roses and not Dungbombs.
"It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but even more to stand up to your friends" - Harry Potter


Coley

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Re: The Only Thing I Could Do...
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2012, 05:08:26 PM »
It's good that you were able to maintain your composure. This is the sort of thing that makes you wonder why some people wind up teaching.

I had a similar experience with my high school geometry teacher, Mr. Ick. He had no use for students who didn't understand the subject and would torment those of us who struggled with it. And by torment, I mean that we were the ones who were called to the board to work problems in front of the class. When we couldn't complete them, he'd make fun of us. If he called on us and we didn't know the answer, he would humiliate us by implying we were too stupid to grasp the material. Needless to say, I wasn't doing well in the class. My parents were informed that I was having trouble, and they required me to stay after class under the assumption that Ick would help me learn geometry concepts.

Well ... Ick had already decided that the problem was that I just wasn't doing my homework. He told me in no uncertain terms that I was expected to get my homework done, and he was going to the lounge. So, instead of helping me, I wound up sitting alone in his classroom in an odd detention/study hall situation in which I was expected to complete the homework by myself. Of course, I couldn't do the work. I didn't understand it. And that's why I was there for help. It took a few attempts at this for my parents to understand that it wasn't me. It was him. We agreed that I would do the best I could in the class and leave it at that.

Flash forward about 6 years, and I was at my university's student union taking care of some business right before graduation. Out walks Ick. He took one look at me and said, "What are you doing here?" as if it were beyond comprehension that I might be in college. I told him that I was graduating. His response, "Really?!" Ugh.

Silence was about all I could muster in that situation.

JacklynHyde

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Re: The Only Thing I Could Do...
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2012, 06:06:14 PM »
When I was in elementary school, I was constantly teased by a teacher who wasn't even mine.  Apparently, on my sixth birthday, I accidentally said I was five.  Miss Keller heard it, and for the rest of the time I was at that elementary school, I was "Jacklyn Five", said in a ridiculous manner.  It would get me so annoyed!  I was bullied enough by my classmates and didn't need it from a teacher.  Finally, at the end of my time in elementary school, I ran into Miss Keller again in the hallway.  She wiggled her fingers and, again, teasingly called me "Jacklyn Five".  I simply stared at her, with my best 11-year-old expression of complete exasperation.  Miss Keller finally blinked, walked away, and never spoke to me again.  Good.

DottyG

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Re: The Only Thing I Could Do...
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2012, 06:53:03 PM »
This thread really makes me angry.




(at these "teachers" - not at y'all)


missmolly

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Re: The Only Thing I Could Do...
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2012, 06:59:37 PM »
This thread really makes me angry.




(at these "teachers" - not at y'all)

POD. I'm currently training to be a teacher, I could never imagine being so cruel to a child.
"Any idiot can face a crisis, it is this day-to-day living that wears you out". Chekhov.

Nikko-chan

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Re: The Only Thing I Could Do...
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2012, 10:14:27 PM »
Had a teacher in sixth grade that was MEAN! She would yell at me for reading ahead (quick reader :)), yell at me for forgetting homework (I forgot because her yelling made me too anxious to remember). I ended up getting a D in that class (Reading) one of my best subjects!

Diane AKA Traska

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Re: The Only Thing I Could Do...
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2012, 10:20:58 PM »
For my freshman year of high school, I had an art teacher and an English teacher who were involved.  Apparently they would get together at the beginning of the year, pick a student they both had at random, and that student would be their "project" for scorn.

Guess who won that lottery?
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Kaesha

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Re: The Only Thing I Could Do...
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2012, 02:20:23 PM »
I got 'revenge' on one of my mean teachers (first grade).  She told us that we were not allowed to read ahead our workbooks, and she yelled at a kid who accidentally broke his plastic ruler and made him cry.  I found out that we were moving and I would have to change schools, so on my very last day I filled out the last page of my workbook and broke my plastic ruler on purpose.  Sweet, sweet revenge for a 5 year old soul...  >:D
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JacklynHyde

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Re: The Only Thing I Could Do...
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2012, 10:56:45 PM »
If it makes you feel better, I became a teacher specifically to work with those kids who need a little extra attention and protection.  My kids know I'm a safe haven.  That is so important to me!

Asharah

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Re: The Only Thing I Could Do...
« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2012, 01:54:42 PM »
To OP, I wonder what Umbridge would have done if you had responded with a blank stare and "Do I know you?" as if you didn't even remember her because she was so insignificant.  Might have thaken the wind right out of her sails.  ;)
Asharah

violinp

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Re: The Only Thing I Could Do...
« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2012, 03:12:52 PM »
To OP, I wonder what Umbridge would have done if you had responded with a blank stare and "Do I know you?" as if you didn't even remember her because she was so insignificant.  Might have thaken the wind right out of her sails.  ;)

Oh, she thought quite a lot of herself; I'm sure it would've taken her aback. However, I didn't trust myself to speak without spewing every bit of venom I had on the woman.

I truly despised her by this point, not only for stuff for she did to me, but for things she did to others - she had forced all of us to give our vocab books "back" to her at the end of the year, which we paid for, simply because she assumed we would sell them to upcoming students, complained that we were such a burden to teach, because she had to teach us both literature and grammar (the horror! ::)),  sent kids to the principal for supposedly starting a hand sanitizer fight, when they were the ones attacked by a bully (she wouldn't even listen to them), and even interrupted another teacher's class to bully one of my sister's classmates.

I've had some pretty bad teachers, but that woman was one of the worst. In case any of you were wondering, she's no longer in my hometown school system. Whether she's in another system I don't know, but I'm glad she's at least out of this one.
"It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but even more to stand up to your friends" - Harry Potter


violinp

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Re: The Only Thing I Could Do...
« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2012, 03:26:44 PM »
If it makes you feel better, I became a teacher specifically to work with those kids who need a little extra attention and protection.  My kids know I'm a safe haven.  That is so important to me!

 :D I'm glad there are good teachers out there! I rarely had any teachers that actually protected me. My fifth grade teacher was one of those.

When I was scolded by my fourth grade teacher, and I started to cry, she would tell me, "You can't cry in fifth grade! They'll send you to the principal!" Yes, that's what was supposed to stop me from freaking out and crying. I was also a sensitive plant, and would cry if anyone was being scolded near me, because yelling and loud voices scared me.

One day in fifth grade, she was telling off the class, and I started to cry. I put my head down so I wouldn't be seen and taken to the principal. The teacher thought I was laughing and told me to put my head up. When she saw my red and swollen face, she asked me, "Violinp, what's wrong?" I begged her, "Just don't send me to the principal's office," and told her what had been told me. She immediately told me that was a horrible lie, and she would never send me to the principal for crying.

This was at the beginning of the day. When my sister got to my teacher's class at the end of the day, my teacher was still mad that I had been told such a dirty lie. She actually came up to Cabbage and said, "Cabbage, I am so sorry for what your sister had to go through." The next semester, my old fourth grade teacher had been reassigned to teaching first grade. I don't know what exactly happened, but I'm sure my fifth grade teacher had a hand in it.
"It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but even more to stand up to your friends" - Harry Potter


cabbagegirl28

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Re: The Only Thing I Could Do...
« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2012, 04:31:59 PM »
To OP, I wonder what Umbridge would have done if you had responded with a blank stare and "Do I know you?" as if you didn't even remember her because she was so insignificant.  Might have thaken the wind right out of her sails.  ;)

Oh, she thought quite a lot of herself; I'm sure it would've taken her aback. However, I didn't trust myself to speak without spewing every bit of venom I had on the woman.

I truly despised her by this point, not only for stuff for she did to me, but for things she did to others - she had forced all of us to give our vocab books "back" to her at the end of the year, which we paid for, simply because she assumed we would sell them to upcoming students, complained that we were such a burden to teach, because she had to teach us both literature and grammar (the horror! ::)),  sent kids to the principal for supposedly starting a hand sanitizer fight, when they were the ones attacked by a bully (she wouldn't even listen to them), and even interrupted another teacher's class to bully one of my sister's classmates.

I've had some pretty bad teachers, but that woman was one of the worst. In case any of you were wondering, she's no longer in my hometown school system. Whether she's in another system I don't know, but I'm glad she's at least out of this one.

To make it even better, Umbridge was my homeroom teacher. We had to eat grits and listen to "I Am A Rock, I Am An Island" because it was so "deeeep". Now, I love Simon and Garfunkel, but I still can't take that song or grits seriously because of that woman.

The lit and grammar thing, one of my classmates asked her, "Well, if it was so much easier at your old school, why don't you just go back?" It truly was asked innocently; that person doesn't have a mean bone in his body. But I had to put my head down so I didn't laugh and get in trouble along with the kid.

From stuff she said in class, I know she had it out for certain students. I was one of the lucky ones she didn't treat poorly. Oddly enough, the kid who stood on a table and called himself Jesus Christ, which was an actual issue, didn't bother her, but my classmate being unable to write or draw (in her eyes) deserved to be tortured in the next class (yes, the kid violinp talked about for whom she disrupted another teacher's class).

She was all kinds of weird, and should not have been teaching. That's the nicest thing I can say about her.


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jeni

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Re: The Only Thing I Could Do...
« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2012, 04:43:30 AM »
I agree, some people should just never be teachers.  Sad to read about some of these experiences.  It brings back memories.

When I was in fourth grade the teacher I had used to point out individuals at random to test them on the times tables, if you got it wrong, you got another chance (at a different sum) and if you got it wrong again you had to go up to the front of the class and get whacked on the back of the legs by a big wooden ruler (like a half metre long ruler, not the small kind).  That was over 30 years ago now (yikes, how time flies).

This teacher also insisted that the word 'fridge' was incorrect and that the correct abbreviation and term was 'frig' (as in twig) since there was no 'D' in the word refrigerator. LOL, my goodness.

Anyway about 25 years after primary school, I read in the local newspaper that she and her husband were running a small corner store in one the suburbs of this city and that she was subject to an assault by a would-be thief.  I couldn't help but wonder if he was a former student.

When I read the story it brought back bad memories and I had no sympathy for her at all.  Not sure what kind of person that makes me.  I am generally very sympathetic, but not on this occasion.


Hollanda

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Re: The Only Thing I Could Do...
« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2012, 05:56:25 AM »
My Science teacher yelled so hard in my ear that he burst my ear drum.  ITA,some people really should not be teachers!  >:(   OP, it sounds to me as though your teacher did actually have a lot of respect for your writing and thought you had talent. That goes no way to excusing her behaviour - she was intimidating and unnecessarily so. She's clearly got issues, you dealt with that just fine!  :)
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