21 – You shouldn’t call someone weak.

She ruined history for me. I’ll never look at her class the same way.

I don’t care if she was having a bad day. I don’t care if she was stressed out.

You don’t make a student cry.

You don’t call someone weak just because they’re too sick to stay in class for the rest of the day.

You don’t say “it’s not okay” to miss ONE class especially when I’ve taken the time to come see you beforehand.

You don’t emphasize how important class is when I’m just about to miss one.

I don’t care if missing one class in university means missing three classes in high school. I’m still in freaking high school.

There’s more to life than studying.


I suppose I went with the misconception that you were an understanding teacher.

That you were someone I could look up to.

And for the first time in my life, I was hurt by the words from a teacher, a “sensible” adult, a role model.

I mean, it’s okay to scold when a student does something wrong.

But what the hell did I do?


13 thoughts on “21 – You shouldn’t call someone weak.

  1. Since you say she’s been otherwise a nice person and teacher, I’d prefer to operate under the assumption that something *other* than you was bugging her or had happened and she simply lashed out at the first catalytic moment. *However*, that is not an *excuse* for such bad behavior, only a possible explanation. If you can give her the benefit of the doubt, it might be worthwhile to find a private time to speak to her and tell her about your experience so she might have a chance to redeem herself and repair the relationship, if you can be so generous.

    In the meantime, I will say that this was one of the hardest things about teaching for me, and one of the many reasons I was relieved to stop teaching: the knowledge of how much power is wielded by a teacher’s words. I think a lot of teachers nowadays don’t think there *is* such influence in them anymore because of the changes in classroom discipline, student and parental expectations, schools’ bureaucratic systems and so on, but the truth is that human interaction still packs a lot of punch, the more so between people of “unequal power”, and a small mistake on a teacher’s part can wound or change the path of a student’s attitude and feelings (really important things) and send them on a completely different path than they’d been intending or expecting. Sometimes only briefly, and sometimes forever. That’s a huge burden to bear in *any* relationship, but especially as the person supposedly wielding the power in it. Strangely, the reverse can happen, and I had a couple of situations where students managed to do me and my attitude and ego and work serious damage as well, but this is not what’s happened with you, obviously!

    Mostly, I hope you realize, since you’ve said it yourself, that this was an outsized and inappropriate reaction to your situation on her part and therefore was clearly *NOT* about you, so don’t carry any guilt or baggage, and just do your best to let go of it if you can’t change it. Be your best self going forward, because that’s the only thing that will truly benefit YOU.

    By the way, I hope you feel much better physically as well as psychically, by now, my friend! πŸ™‚ Hugs.

    • Mm. I’ve more or less forgiven her for her words, but I wish she had reacted to my crying at least. Most teachers don’t ignore a crying student. Not the good ones anyway. It just made me feel worse when she ignored me.

      In any case, I’ve moved on and I’ll keep going through the year hopefully with little prejudice against her. I definitely agree with the fact that teachers no longer believe that they have much of a connection with their students – the new school system is so strange like that. I still like to get to know my teachers though.

      Thanks for your kind words, Kathryn. *Huugs*. I’m still a little physically sick, but I’ve healed a lot mentally. ❀

  2. Sorry to hear that. Sometimes people say mean things perhaps without realizing the aftereffects. Interesting that I was talking to a friend the other day how my relationship with a teacher can affect my relationship with the subject. Am the kind of person that if I get offended by a teacher or if I dont like the teacher for whatever reason, then I develop this phobia against the subject that person teaches.

    In any case, try to ignore it. πŸ™‚

    • Mm. A teacher can affect your view on a subject greatly. A good teacher makes you love the subject, a bad teacher will make you hate it.

      It’s hard not to let that influence you.

      I’ll try my best to keep holding on to what I like about History – good teacher or not. Thanks, Elyas.

  3. There is no excuse for belittling someone, anyone, and for not caring a wit about them. I am certain your record speaks for itself, and that should matter here … None the less it is what it is, and people with no conscience have no remorse for those who do, and even use yours against you … so don’t take it personally – Don’t worry about what other people think – it’s what you think and feel that is important. That whole episode was a power trip, Do you know if he (or she) is allergic to poison ivy?

    • Haha. She’s a nice person, really. She is. She tries to be understanding and she tries to relate to her students. But I guess she just doesn’t relate to me. I was wrong to think she could.
      And I suppose she was a little stressed out, so I won’t put the blame on her. I just can’t see her the same way anymore.
      Thanks for support, grandfather, it’s people like you that calm souls like mine. ❀

  4. “But what the hell did I do?”

    Nothing. You needed out and you were honest about it, she could’ve asked if you were OK instead of assuming you just wanted to just ‘screw off’, or if there was anything she could do, etc, if she was so concerned with you missing the time.
    In my opinion … there is never a justifiable excuse for making anyone feel bad, guilty, trying to belittle or anyting alike.
    Hope your night was better. xxx

    • Thank you, Jenzy. All these wonderful comments are making me feel better already. I think it’s because she’s someone I thought I looked up to that I got hurt so badly. To be looked down upon by someone you think fondly of – I think that would hurt anyone.
      I’m okay now and I’m sure she didn’t mean to hurt me in any way. Teachers don’t usually try to do that.
      Thank you so much for your support.

  5. Teachers can seem like cruel and unyielding creatures…and some of them are. Others get so fed up with the lies and deception from the other students that the good ones end up paying the price.

    Either way, it was unfair and unjust. The fact that you toke the time to tell her you were not going to be able to come to class, should have at the very least counted for something.

    That’s what I liked about college…I did my two final years at a technical college as I couldn’t “cut the grade” in “normal” high-school (Far from it but that’s a different topic all together). There, they treat you like they would at university… They don’t check up on you wether you are doing your work or attending class (granted less than 60% attandance is an immediate faile, but that just makes logical sense…why waste good paper on a student who won’t be able to answer the questions on the test-paper) and they sure as heck don’t call you names.

    Weird though, how it’s always the history teacher… I once got a smack upside the head and received the titel “Stupid” from a history teacher (granted he was history himself soon after for alcahol abuse and hitting seniors till they fainted for not having done their homework)

    • Mmm. I have good teachers too and I suppose I’ve been a little deceived by my positive experience with them.
      Thank you for relating to me – it’s nice to know that I’m not the only one who’s been through something like this. There’s something about history teachers, huh…

      And yeah, I guess at university, they don’t have to time to care about whether or not you’re there or not. Which is fine too. I’d rather not go through the long and difficult practice of having to go find teachers and give them notes for my absence. Exam dates also seem so much more clear-cut in University. I can’t wait to get out of high school.

  6. That BLOWS. What happened to people “thinking” before they open their mouth.
    I don’t know exactly your situation, but for me… I have had to leave class because I was sobbing, for no reason. i needed to escape. People need to think… everything is not always peachy.
    I am sorry ‘Nessa…

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