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Making The Teacher Get The Picture

, , | Learning | December 2, 2013

(I am seven years old. As part of a Father’s Day assembly our class has painted pictures of our fathers to show. For some reason, however, there was a mix-up with my painting and another girl’s. The girl is ill on the day of the assembly, and I’m given her painting.)

Me: “Mrs. [Teacher], this isn’t mine. This is [Other Girl’s] painting.”

Teacher: “It’s yours. It has your name on it.”

(I turn it over and look. My name is there, but in the teacher’s handwriting.)

Me: “But it’s not mine. That one’s mine.”

(I point to my painting, and go to pick it up. The teacher snatches it away.)

Teacher: “No! That’s not yours to take!”

Me: “But it’s mine!”

(I start to cry; my father has come all the way from his work in London to see this assembly, and I wanted to show him the painting. The teacher, irritated, calls my mum in. After the teacher explains to her what has happened, my mum takes one look at the painting which is supposedly mine.)

Mum: “That’s not her painting.”

Teacher: “Look, being a good parent means understanding that your child isn’t always right—”

Mum: “Yes, but being a good parent also means knowing what my daughter’s artwork is like. I also know this isn’t hers because that is NOT what her father looks like!”

(My mum is right: in this painting, the father has brown hair and a long beard. While my father has brown hair, he is always clean shaven. The kicker is that my teacher has MET my father before, so knows this. She looks stunned.)

Mum: “Furthermore, you have made my daughter cry over YOUR mistake. I’m angry, but pray her father doesn’t hear about this.”

Teacher: “…I apologize.”

(My teacher hurriedly handed me my painting. What’s more, the entire class was watching, and they all immediately spoke up that their paintings have been muddled up, too. They’d been too afraid to speak out. With my mum watching the entire time, the teacher hurriedly solved the problems.)

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