When My Teacher Became the Bully...
From a Little Girl's Perspective
Have you been a victim of a educator who shamed or humiliated you simply just because your different from the rest of the class? Unfortunately, we've all fallen victim to this form of bullying. Let me just say that my second grade teacher was a woman and I feared her. It all started when I was eight years old and years before I was diagnosed with a learning disability. I already had poor reading and comprehension skills as well as my stuttering which my teacher was well aware of, and I couldn't understand why this teacher was so impatient and too cruel when she would handle her students who had disabilities.
Now I was one of those kids that always kept to themselves and was very quiet, always turned in my homework on time and was never any trouble. I still remember when she would teach us reading by basically having to read the book that we were reading at the time out loud.
This reading method, ROUND ROBIN READING, a.k.a. CHORAL READING, is used often in education in teaching those how to read fluently, and just let me say that it's the worst way to teach children how to read who struggle and I would not recommend this method to any teacher out there. It all creates the humiliation and behavioral problems in children as they become self-conscious of themselves.
Enough said about that. Let's continue.
I remember feeling nervous and dreading it when it came to my turn to read. We either had to read a full page or at least two or more paragraphs. Whenever I would come upon a word that couldn't pronounce or if I read in a slower manner, she would start to get impatient and would start gripe at me as causing a commotion.
"Can you read faster?" as she interrupted me. This made me stutter even more as I became more anxious when my classmates were staring at me as I heard whisper's around me.
I never felt so utterly embarrassed in my life. I could see that my teacher was getting off on my humiliation. I felt discriminated for having a learning disability and it wasn't right. She eventually called on another student because I was reading too slow. I was not the only student that got bullied by this woman because there were other students who got singled out during reading time. It just felt like we bothered her. Maybe she didn't know how to teach students who learn differently.
I never told my parents about what was going on during reading time, afraid that they wouldn't believe me or maybe they think that I was just overreacting. I tried to forget that it ever happened...or maybe I was too afraid.
Fast forward to high school. My little brother was in her sixth grade class and my mom and I came to his ceremony that his school was having. Towards the end of the ceremony and we were on our way out, we ran in to her. The woman to whom I once feared.
"Oh fudge!" I thought to myself. We walked over to her as I quietly smiled at her. She didn't recognize me at first but then it hit her. I contained my composure, not really saying much or making eye contact. For me, it just felt too awkward to be in the same room with this person. She acted like nothing happened after all these years as I still felt some hostility towards her.
She ought to see me now. I'm in my late 20s and recently just graduated from college with a bachelor's. After all these years, it really feels good to share this experience who also went or are going through the same thing. For educators or future educators out there, please don't make the same mistake because children never forget.
Thanks for taking the time to read my stories! My journal series is a little personal but I wanted to get my experience out there to let others know that you are not alone. So again, thank you for taking the time to visit this page! I appreciate every single one of you, and hope that life is treating you well. Tootles!