Too cruel to be kind

Originally published on Tumblr, December 2013.

The tone shocked me. It was a giant ball of rude, condescending, mean, and totalitarian all wound tightly and thrown at a kid. This was not the student’s father, his prison guard, nor was it his boss- this was his teacher.

He yelled so loudly I had to step out of my room. When I saw the owner of the voice another shock zapped me: this was a teacher I had heard GOOD things about.

I recall another mad man yelled a few years back. He yelled with such force I imagined blood vessels bursting in his violet cheeks. He was so out of control I contemplated calling for paramedics.

There are many jobs in the world where a cold, angry, uncaring nature would be completely acceptable. There are plenty of jobs where a daily show of power might come in handy, and antipathy for kids would not matter. Teaching, however, is not one of those jobs.

Kids deserve better. Kids deserve a pool of teachers who care about kids.

I’m forming a list. A list of folks who need to find a new career. Until they do, I’ve incorporated a few helpful coping mechanisms into my days…

I have infused my own passive-aggressive techniques for dealing with these meanies. I may or may not put extra junk mail, found in the recycling bin, into their mailboxes. I may or may not walk past them and chuckle to myself just to make them wonder. I may or may not slide articles about kindness under their classroom doors. I may or may not take the last cookie when I see them behind me in the lunch line.

I’m not moving mountains, but sometimes staging your own mini-protests against things can do wonders for the soul.

-H.C.

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