In Which I Get Schooled By A Kid

This post is not to garner pity, or poor you kind of comments.  It is not to embarrass or to make myself look terrible.  It is to speak the truth of how teachers are merely humans and although we would like to be infallible, we are far from it.  Although we would like to think we always know best, we don’t.

Chalk it up to sleep deprivation going on for about 10 days.  That’s what happens when everyone in your household has the flu and you are the only one healthy enough to be caretaker.  Chalk it up to being distracted; too many things going on, both in school, and outside.  Chalk it up to forgetting who I am, if even for a minute, and going back to those old ways.  Chalk it up to whatever you want but today I got schooled by a kid, and I deserved every bit of it.  I called this kid out infront of the class and made him so angry.  Instead of backing off and thinking about it, I kept at it, letting him get more angry, until a break was needed.  I wanted to be right so bad, that I forgot for a moment that this was a kid in front of me.  Perhaps I was a little bit right, but nowhere near the amount needed for that type of  confrontation.

I went home, reflected, admitted to myself that that was poorly handled and that I had to reach out tomorrow.  Once again, this kid beat me to it.  This kid, this so angry kid, sent me the most eloquent email telling me exactly what was going on.  Telling me exactly why he got so very angry and exactly what I did to push him there.  He wrote to apologize but also wanted to make sure I heard his side, and hear it I did.  Not like I had heard it today in the classroom, but really hear it, no filter, no holding back.

Instead of getting angry, I saw what this email really was; a way in, a gift really, a way to repair a relationship that otherwise may have been fractured for the rest of the year.  This kid gave me a chance again.  This kid gave me a chance to redeem myself, to become a better teacher, to remember that I teach someone’s child.  Thank you.  I am sorry.

3 thoughts on “In Which I Get Schooled By A Kid”

  1. Thanks for sharing this! I'm sorry can be very powerful words in the classroom. I appreciate the reminder. I often feel pressure to "be right" or have all the answers too.

  2. Hi there! I'm Rebecca Stuart and I'm a student at the University of South Alabama. I'm in Dr.Strange's EDM310 class which focuses on technology in the classroom. This post to me was in no way a "poor me" post! It's reality! Also, a wake up call to me just realizing I will have those things happen to me as they do all teachers I'm sure. I believe it's these eye opening moments we are blessed that make great teachers.

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