Saturday, October 20, 2007

x365: 21 of 365: mrs. houghton

Derek called you Shoutin' Houton, but you didn't need to shout. Your voice possessed a certain tone that could silence everyone, so that your insults, delivered to an eight year old in front of the entire class, were delivered in complete silence. First you didn't like me because I was given accelerated English material. Then I disagreed with a mark you gave me on a spelling test. You didn't like my cursive, and chose to mark me incorrect. You informed me that my parents thought I was clever, but I wasn't. It occurs to me now that if you'd really thought there was a problem with me, you would have spoken to my parents. I'm not sure how lasting the satisfaction can be from insulting children, but I imagine you wrung as much pleasure our of it as your grim heart could allow.

That was 1979. You're probably dead, and that saddens me, because I'll never have the chance now to hurt you back.


Nate said...

I had SO MANY TEACHERS who seemed to completely hate children. My fourth-grade teacher told me I'd kill myself by age 18. My sixth-grade teacher made fun of me in front of the whole class, and when I brought her a little bag of chocolates for a Christmas present, she was like, "Good God. Just what I need," and rolled her eyes at me.

I have a million stories like this. It should be harder than it is to become a teacher.

palinode said...

When I was an undergrad I met a number of people in the Education program. Ninety percent were people I'd never let loose on a child. They weren't even mean - just vacant and rule-bound, for the most part. They said they were taking Education because they liked children, but what they really liked was organizing children in groups. They were managers, not teachers.

I've had a whole lot of lousy teachers, but the few good ones were so good that they almost made up for the assholes.

kris said...

my sons first grade teacher was a joy sucker. she made sure to suck the joy out of anything fun the kids might have done in school. i know you are never supposed to tell your kids that their teacher sucks but after awhile i just told him that she was nasty and that he just had to get thru the year. this year his teacher seems to actually like kids. what a difference.