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Target of jokes

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When I was little, I was the target of jokes of choice for my classmates, because I couldn’t speak properly Spanish. I had went to school not knowing a single word of the language, because we were immigrants and at home we spoke Croatian.

I was constantly making mistakes and messing words. I remember that even the teacher laughed on me once I made a mistake when I was trying to tell her that I wanted to leave because I was having a migraine and she provoke, with her answer, the laughter of the whole class. I was really desperate so I left and went home.

There was another little girl with problems with the Language. We didn’t know, but she had a neurological illness. She had trouble understanding the meaning of some words. Sometimes, the teacher asked us one by one about the correct use of some prepositions or adverbs and that girl always failed. The others laughed at her. Not me. I found it too cruel. I couldn’t but feel sorry for her.I wanted to help her but I didn’t know how .

Not too long after that, she died from her illness. That day all the jokes and laughs in the classroom became bewilderment and tears.

Ragtag Daily Prompt: Target

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Journalist. In my fifties. I've worked for 26 years in a newspaper in Spain. I worked for two years as a stringer and correspondent in the US, and went as a special envoy to other places like the Balkans. Sea lover. Avid reader. Classic Music enthusiast.

5 Comments Join the Conversation

  1. Teachers who are mean like that are not good teachers, I think. I took first year French at 2-year college as an adult. At 2-year college here in the USA, young people often go here for two years before transferring to a 4-year college to save money and also older students take a class at night to learn something new without intending to get a degree.

    In this class, 3/4 of the class were high school students who had already had 1-4 years of french. The teacher loved those students — I felt she wasn’t really teaching them because someone else had already taught them so the class was more like review for them. The people who didn’t know any french the teacher was constantly putting down for making mistakes or getting the accent wrong. These were the new students she was actually teaching. She was a good reviewer but not a good teacher.

    I felt angry every time she put someone down. I was in my 30s then so I was old enough to know that meanness is unnecessary in learning. One time I got mad when she put down someone again and stood up and told her, “You are mean. You don’t have to put someone down if they make a mistake. You can just correct them. Making mistakes is part of learning.” I picked up my books and went to the office and quit the class and I wrote the reason for my quitting.

    Two days later I went to her office to pick up my test results because the class had taken a test the week before I quit. She was just finishing grading the tests. She had crumpled and thrown mine into the garbage and had to pull my test back out of the trash. I uncrumpled my test. Since I had quit, she didn’t have to grade my paper but I think she did it because she expected a lot of errors. I bet she wanted me to be a “bad” student so she could think that’s why I quit, not because she was a bad teacher. I had gotten every answer correct. I had an A. I bet that 100% is what made her mad. Meanness has no place in a classroom.

    Reply

    • What a story! Completely agree. You did the right thing standing up and talking that way to her in behalf of your classmates, and then showing her with your test that you were the best. Good for you! I was just a little kid, scared. I decided to ignore my teacher and take refuge in my parents

      Reply

      • Yeah, it’s especially hard for children. They are taught to trust teachers and that automatic trust makes things especially difficult.

  2. This is such a sad story and I am sorry to hear that instead of teaching in a nurturing way without ridicule you and that little girl were subjected to such poor treatment in the classroom. May the little girl rest in peace and may the others have learned something too.

    Reply

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