Will Show You Where To Put That Needle

, , , , | Learning | June 1, 2017

(I am blind and am going to a non-special education school for the first time. I have a seeing eye dog, as well as technology, like being able to use the eye-sight help apps on my phone during the school day. I am also exempt from the sewing class, and instead work on homework during the two weeks we have it. Some variation of this happens everyday, as the school can’t keep a teacher’s assistant.)

Teacher’s Assistant: “Why isn’t she sewing? She should be sewing!”

Teacher: “She’s [My Name]? Surely you remember having to go through training again?”

Teacher’s Assistant: “Oh, she’s that one? I still think she should be sewing!”

Teacher: “SHE CAN’T SEW!”

Teacher’s Assistant: “I’ll get her a needle!”

(It’s a wonder I survived that year.)

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Not A Very Happy Sunflower

| Learning | May 24, 2017

(I am in first grade, and most of my memories of my teacher are horrible. It’s very early in the school year. When the teacher asks us to write something down. She comes over to my desk and begins screaming at me.)

Teacher: “WHAT IS THIS? WHY DO I SEE ONLY CAPITAL LETTERS ON YOUR PAPER?!”

Me: “I’m sorry. I’m just used to it!”

Teacher: “DON’T TELL ME YOU ARE SORRY! TELL ME YOU WILL LEARN!” *storms off*

(She scares me by yelling and I start to cry quietly. Most of the children are scared into silence by her. A different time she has assigned us to draw flowers showing the seeds in the flowers. I am sitting in a desk in the back of the class with a parent volunteer with me. I decide I wanted to be unique and don’t want to draw an easy sunflower, so I start to draw a rose, deciding to make one of the petals transparent so you can see the seeds inside. The teacher again comes up to my desk yelling.)

Teacher: “What is this?!”

Me: “It’s a rose.”

Teacher: “DO ROSES HAVE SEEDS ON THEIR PETALS? I DON’T THINK SO! RE-DO IT!” *storms off*

(The parent volunteer looks pretty shocked at her being so hard on me.)

Volunteer: “I think you should just draw a sunflower.”

Me: *nods glumly, close to tears*

(Other memories include her proudly declaring she had never been married but had three children to a bunch of six-year-olds. And calling the boy who accidentally stapled his hand “a stupid attention seeker.”)

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Sub-Substitute

| Learning | May 23, 2017

One day, while in fifth grade, we have a substitute teacher. She gets through most of the morning okay, although she misspells at least one word every time she copies our teacher’s instructions onto the whiteboard. But then lunchtime rolls around.

At our school, there are multiple half-hour lunch periods, staggered at 15-minute intervals, and each class is assigned three lunches. Our class has the 12 pm, 12:15, and 12:30 lunch times, which we get to pick at the beginning of each day, and the rest of the 12-1 lunch block we can get out games and crafts and socialize.

Our substitute teacher doesn’t believe us about lunch. She tries to make all of us go at once, which would make the hall monitors and cafeteria workers angry. We try explaining it to her, and  show her the popsicle sticks with names and how they fit into slots on the lunch board on the wall, but she just grows more and more unreasonable.

Finally, she tells one side of the classroom to go to lunch, my side of the room to read silently, and tells anyone who objects to shut up. We cautiously pull out books from our desks and the bookshelves, while the substitute sits down at the teacher’s desk and glares at her written instructions. After only a minute, she lets out a frustrated “UGH!”, gets up, and leaves the classroom without a word.

When she doesn’t return a few minutes later, our half of the class decides that the best thing is to tell the principal what is going on. All fifteen of us walk together into the front office, much to the surprise of the school’s secretary, and explain what has happened.

Turned out, our substitute teacher had left the school, gotten into her car, and driven away without a single word to anybody. Our principal called up the school system headquarters and the substitute was blacklisted from ever teaching in the county again. We were told that we weren’t in any trouble, and one of the guidance counselors acted as our teacher for the remaining three hours of school.

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Need To Learn Bowling And Kung-Fu Before Karate

| Learning | May 19, 2017

(I am around 9-10 years old, and we get an hour to go to the library and borrow books and read them. I have spotted a book that’s about karate that I like on a shelf, so I go to the librarian to ask if I can borrow it.)

Me: “Can you please help me get a book? I am too small to reach it.”

Librarian: “Just ask your teacher to get it for you! He’s tall enough!”

Me: “Um… okay?”

(I go ask my teacher, who tells me to go and ask the librarian. This goes back and forth for a while until the librarian gives up.)

Me: “Can you ple—”

Librarian: “Okay, fine! I’ll get the damn book for you!” *mutters about kids being so annoying*

(We finally get to where the book is.)

Me: “Can I please have that one?”

(I point to a karate book.)

Librarian: *gets the book next to it, which is bowling*

Me: “Oh! No, no, no! I meant the other book. The karate one!”

Librarian: *grabs kung fu book* “THERE! Are you happy now?”

Me: “No, I wanted the kara—”

Librarian: “NO! Shut up already! You little kids are so annoying! God, why am I here? Just take that stupid book. They’re both Chinese anyway!” *walks off*

(Lady had some really bad cultural issues. She got fired that same year for yelling at a five-year-old IN FRONT OF HER PARENTS about weeing all over a chair when “she should’ve held it in when I told her to!” Idiot.)

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A Spoonful Of Fear Makes The Medicine Go Down

| Learning | May 9, 2017

(I am in kindergarten. The teacher aide for my class is an imposing woman who shouts at students to get their attention. I am a very tiny, quiet, shy child, so I am terrified of the teacher aide because of this. On this particular day, I am getting over an ear infection, and need to take an antibiotic. It’s in pill form, so everyone who’d given it to me usually cut it in half to make it easier to take.)

Teacher Aide: “Okay, [My Name], here’s your medicine.”

Me: “Um.”

Teacher Aide: “WHAT?!”

Me: *quietly* “[Teacher] usually cuts it in half.”

Teacher Aide: “I’m not cutting it in half.”

Me: *even quieter* “But my mom cuts it in half, too…”

Teacher Aide: *loud sigh* “[My Name], you need to be a woman about this. Take your medicine, because I’m not cutting it in half.”

Me: “But—”

Teacher Aide: *loudly* “Don’t be a baby! Be a woman!”

(I start to cry, which irritates her further.)

Teacher Aide: “BE A WOMAN!”

(Somehow I managed to choke down the pill and went back to class. However, my fear of the TA was reinforced, and I started running away from her every time she came near me. She had officially picked up on the fact that I was scared of her, which made her shout at me all the more. I was very relieved when I got to first grade and she was no longer around all the time. I found out when I was in college that she did not like my mom, and she’d taken her frustrations out on me. Nice, right?)

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