I sometimes wonder....

~Jami JoAnne Russell~

www.jamisings.comDo my teachers, the ones still living that is, ever sit back and think about how much they messed up the kids they taught?

I eat too fast. I'll fully admit this. I can finish a big meal in under 10 minutes. The reason I can do this is because in elementary school the teachers on lunch duty used to hover over us, shouting, "HURRY UP AND EAT!" They wanted us to get onto the playground faster. If you ate too slowly they'd get really angry and start threatening you with punishments.

Of course, there was also my 6th grade teacher who used to play classical music while telling me what a horrible person I am for taking a bath every single day. I was also solely responsible for all pollution because I used Listerine. I still can't hear classical music without expecting someone to tell me I'm the spawn of Satan for using antiperspirant and perfume.

One of my teachers allowed me to be sexually harassed and bullied over my weight in class by a group of boys. Then he would tell my parents that he "didn't understand why I thought no one liked me, the boys were just crazy about me."

The teachers used to tell us kids that being bullied would "Make us stronger, more well adjusted adults and teach us to be stronger in the real world."

My 2nd grade teacher told my mom I was retarded and needed to be in special ed because I "didn't think like other children." (My 3rd grade teacher also said I didn't think like other children - and recommended me for the gifted program, all because when we drew the Statue Of Liberty on the right side, where she's lifting her arm, I drew that breast higher up on her body.)

When I told my english teacher in high school that I hated Catcher In The Rye (I had read it on my own several years earlier) and didn't see why we had to read it, she replied, "Because every child can identify with Holden." I replied, "I don't." She snapped at me, "Don't be stupid! Of course you do!"

I still don't identify with Holden and I still think Salinger was an over-rated hack. Holden is just a spoiled brat who should've been spanked then sent to military school.

As the years go by I think about my teachers, think about how they practically encouraged bullying and often were bullies themselves, ignored the smarter children in favor of the more athletically inclined children, etc - I wonder if they realized how many lives they've messed up.

It's not just parents whom influence children and shape their adulthoods.

Then again, I've had good teachers too. Like my 3rd grade teacher that I mentioned - and Mr. Henthorne, my choir teacher turned vocal coach. The man who wouldn't give up on me even when I was ready to give up on myself. (I had major dental surgery for impacted AND abscessed wisdom teeth. Thought I lost my voice. He wouldn't let me quit singing and not only brought it back, but made it better.)


(BTW - I hope this doesn't enter in under "Women Of Hati" - for some reason that is showing on my screen and it won't let me change it.)

But the bad ones, I think back on them - and pray for the sake of today's kids they've long since retired.

And hopefully they stopped yelling "EAT FASTER" at them as well.



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