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Afraid Of Getting Fired

| Learning | March 27, 2017

(I am in first grade. We have color slips that we have to change if we get into trouble. There are probably five colors before black, which means we get sent to the principal’s office. I have had my color changed to black more times than I can count, over very silly things. Usually it is for speaking without being called on, because I am a very impatient, energetic child and have a hard time keeping quiet when I know an answer. What begins happening more and more, though, is me having to change my colors for things that other students also did without being asked to change their colors. I am miserable… The teacher refuses to let me participate in the majority of interactive activities and even moves my desk to the corner of the room, away from everyone, facing the wall, because I am “too disruptive.” Any time we pass the first color slip, we had to have a form signed by our parents and brought back the next day. I go home nearly every single day with this pink paper. Eventually, I get so afraid of showing my parents, that I start throwing them away before I get home. After a few weeks of not bringing them back…)

Teacher: “[My Name], you have not brought any of your forms back. Explain, please.”

Me: *hesitantly* “I don’t give them to my mom and dad.”

Teacher: *glares daggers at me and scolds me in front of the class* “This is absolutely unacceptable. Not only am I sending you to the office, but you are no longer going to have recesses.”

(I want to cry, but not in front of my classmates, so I just sit down, red in the face. Later in the day, when it is time for recess, I start to go out with the rest of the class.)

Teacher: *stopping me as my classmates wait outside the door* No, [My Name], you’re waiting right here.”

Me: *confused, as kids in trouble usually just sit by the teachers* “But—”

Teacher: *interrupting me* “You are going to sit in the reading corner while we’re gone and you are going to stay there. You will not move, and if I come back and find that you have moved, you will spend the rest of the school year doing your work in the principal’s office. Understood?” *places me in the corner, on a bunch of pillows, without waiting for me to answer and ushers the class down the hallway*

(It took 30 minutes to get to the playground, have recess, and then come back. For those entire 30 minutes, I didn’t move. Once the class came back, I returned to my seat. This went on for several weeks until one day, the fire alarm goes off.)

Me: *still not moving from my spot, despite panicking about the alarm*

Teacher: *running into the room a couple minutes later, clearly out of sorts* “[My Name]!” *she grabs me by the hand and leads me out to the parking lot* “I’m so proud of you for not moving and staying where I asked you to stay. You did such a good job that I’m giving you back your recesses.”

(Thankfully, it was just a drill. I now know that she had been panicking over the fact she nearly got caught leaving a six-year-old child unattended in a dark, empty room, every day for over a month. I interacted with her a couple more times as I got older, and she still treated me like I was the bane of her existence, and I still to this day have no idea what I did that made her hate me so much. My parents unfortunately didn’t know about any of it because I was too young to realize how wrong everything actually was. I’ve since told them.)

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