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Only Doing It On Principal

| Learning | November 12, 2016

(When I was in elementary school, age seven, I was in a special ed. class for behavioral issues. I had issues communicating with people. For instance, I cried when I couldn’t bring myself to ask someone for a pencil since I thought they wouldn’t give me one — in fairness, they did bully me — and I felt my teachers would get mad at me for interrupting class. I also really liked to read. We had an assignment where we would try to read as many books as we could, summarize them, then hand it in to the teacher. They are really easy books. So, this occurred:)

Me: *nervously* “[Female Teacher], I’ve read all the books in the bins. Uh… Could we get more?”

Female Teacher: “What do you mean you read them all?”

Me: “I read them all. They’re easy… I have all my work in the container, if you want to see.”

Female Teacher: *of little patience, for someone who works with mentally disabled kids* “Ugh, who are you trying to impress, [My Name]? What does this have to do with anything?”

Me: “Uh, I’m sorry… I just… I uhm…” *at this point I’m very fearful of being yelled at because the teachers did do that, plus I’m losing my train of thought. What I wanted to say is “could I go to the library.”* “Can we get more books?”

Female Teacher: “More books? You want us to empty out the bins and get more books? What about the other kids? They haven’t read them all. Just cause you’re a fast reader doesn’t mean it’s all about you.”

Me: *feeling like I did something wrong* “I… I didn’t mean—”

Female Teacher: *dismissively* “Go sit down. I’ll see what we can do.”

(I go and sit down, feeling I asked for a million dollars from a homeless person instead of a few more books from a teacher. I’m near tears, because she is very mean and won’t let me speak. “I’ll see what we can do” is her way of saying she won’t. Later that week, the principal comes to see how we’re doing on the assignment.)

Principal: *looking through the books with dissatisfaction* “What grade levels are these? This is kindergarten, and this is preschool.”

Male Teacher: “Well, you know our students aren’t as… advanced as the others.”

Principal: “I understand that, but there is really no excuse for preschooler books to be in here. You have second graders to fifth graders.”

Female Teacher: *jumping in* “But the students really don’t read them as often as they should! Giving them harder books will only discourage them.”

Principal: *looks at the work bin, which is full to the brim of work* “It doesn’t look like it. Let’s see… This one has only one sentence on it! As does this! These books aren’t challenging at all. Go to the library, put these back, and replace them with higher levels.”

(The kicker? When the teachers were putting the new books in the next day, the female teacher said I got what I want. Looks like she remembered my request, but didn’t care to get anything done until the principal said something herself.)