The ‘Those Who Can, Teach’ Speech

| New York, NY, USA | Learning | August 9, 2014

(I’ve just started high school and I’m very shy and anxious, especially because I’ve been homeschooled since kindergarten. About two months into the semester I still haven’t made any friends, but I’ve made some enemies because I’m ‘different.’ I also have a speech coming up, which is nerve-wracking enough that the day it was assigned I ran into the hall and vomited in a garbage can. My English/public speaking teacher is talking to the principal on my behalf.)

Teacher: “Principal [Name], he’s been here two months and can’t name a single person he calls a friend! The only time the other kids pay any attention to him is when they’re tormenting him. It’s making him physically ill, and I seem to be the only one in this school who gives a d***!”

Principal: “That may be true, but it would be wrong to interfere. He needs to learn to interact with people at an age-appropriate level without hiding behind his somebody’s skirt. If your coddling is brought to my attention again, there will be… consequences.”

Teacher: *voice dripping with restrained fury* “I understand, Principal [Name].”

(Starting that afternoon, after school, my teacher tutored me on how to talk to and in front of people. She poured hours of her own time into making sure I could socialize like an ordinary human being. It worked, and not only did I earn an excellent grade on my speech, but I use the skills she taught me almost every day as part of my job. If you’re reading this, THANK YOU!)

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