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The Teacher Who Cried

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It was boring another day at school following the same boring routine: I went to my boring classes, did my boring work, and then waited for the boring bell to ring to go to the next boring class. My next boring class I attended began as every other boring class. It was my favorite subject but my least favorite teacher. He was always so cheerful and happy and would tell our class some story to entertain us. Every. Single. Day. I do not remember exactly what the point of the story was that day but it went along the lines of telling us how blessed we are and how those less fortunate have to suffer. I was already having a bad day and I mumbled something saying how easy it would be to end life if I were poor. He heard it. I meant what I said, and it could not be taken back. Ugh. Here we go.

We spent class doing a worksheet to practice our new unit. He walked around trying to help the students who were in trouble and eventually walked past me.

“Stay after class,” he said.

My day had gotten worse. I continued doing my work but I was annoyed, frustrated, and just wanted to leave. The bell rang. He came over and moved a desk closer to me.

“You know why you’re here, right?”

“Yeah,” I sighed.

He started asking questions about my life, my childhood, why I said that, and so forth. I was upset that he held me after class to talk to me. He bombarded me with questions then started sharing about his life and I just nodded, wanting the conversation to end.

“Now I can’t say I know how you feel, because my parents didn’t get divorced, and I was a happy child,” he said.

This was new. Out of everyone I talked to about this they all have said that they know exactly how I feel, but when he said he honestly had no clue, I was relieved. I knew I would not have to sit through the I-know-what-you-are-going-through speech. The only problem is that he did not have to add that he had a happy life.

“So what about your parents? How’s your dad?”

Bring my father up made me cringe. I felt my father left me as a child and I had nothing positive to say about him. When he asked me about my mother it was the opposite; I could only say positive things. After asking me about my life he started telling me his childhood story trying to relate to me, but I was just annoyed. After he finished his story he said, “You know you really mean a lot to your parents.”

He started crying. My teacher started crying. In front of me. My teacher was crying right in front of me. He kept telling me how important I was and I was upset because I really disagreed on that matter. My parents provided for me, sure, but providing someone with food, clothing, and shelter does not make one a good parent, just a parent that can afford to do so. Eventually I started crying; I did not understand why. I was upset with the whole topic but it was not anything tear-worthy. My brain just reacted to something he said or did and I started crying. Maybe I am just empathetic.

“Those thoughts in your head are lies,” he said. “You need to get them out.”

That was crossing the line. Calling my thoughts lies? He had no right to tell me what I thought was wrong. He told me I could leave but I was going to even if he had not. I left furious. At first I was starting to appreciate what he was saying minus the fact that he had to as a result of his job. However after saying that my thoughts were lies, I could not stand him anymore.
I could not think of anything positive about that experience. He said I could come talk to him again if I ever felt like it but I knew I never would. He may have tried to make me happier but he did not. He made me feel worse.

I do not know what even happened after that. For some reason when I got home I ran upstairs and started crying my eyes out. Maybe something he said was right, maybe my parents were not as bad as I thought. I lay there for an hour just crying under my covers trying to hide from the world. I was left in a worse state than I started. I was very depressed.

The school year continued and I could never look at him the same way. My mother told me to pretend it did not happen but I could not. After class the next day he said something similar, “we start fresh every day”, but I was unable to. I was left devastated. The school year continued and I was just constantly angry with him.

That was the end of it. I went to school every day having to be taught again and again by the man I hated. No matter what he or my mother told me, I could never forget that conversation, the image burned into my brain of him crying over the life of a student he barely knew. The sheer fact alone that he made me cry upset me.

I am not sure if this experience left me in a better or worse condition. At first glance this seemed to have a negative effect on my life. It was hard to think of anything as positive. Now it is another event in the past. It was not a happy one but after that my thinking process changed. It is hard to explain how. Maybe I became more logical, but I did not become like him. I remained me, I stayed my own person, but I listened to his ideas with open ears and tried to spread my wings. This time it did not work.




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