Sunday, March 23, 2014

You Call Yourself an Educator?

This is the part where I have a wee rant.  Please secure all loose belongings.  Keep your extremities inside the car and remain seated throughout the ride.

Those of you who have been with me for at least a couple of years should recall that Calypso's senior year was spent dealing with her serious illness which took 11 months to diagnose.  We watched her go from a bright, bubbly girl to one who needed a nap after a shower and who had difficulty following the thread of conversation.  It was a terrifying, exhausting year.  It was a year when she literally missed half the school year due to her illness and yet she managed to graduate on time.  Most of her teachers were understanding, supportive, and tried to be flexible with due dates for assignments and such.  One went out of his way to make life more difficult than it already was by disregarding doctor's orders, losing assignments Calypso turned in so she'd have to do them twice, and being a generally arrogant and inflexible asshole. 

Calypso graduated in spite of his efforts to find a way to flunk her.  No I am not exaggerating.  He was just that sadistic.  I spent a notable time mopping tears of frustration and fear shed by my daughter due to this asshole's inclination to kick someone when she is down.  The only reason I did not take major action then was due to my own exhaustion.  I needed all my energy to go into getting my child well and keeping things running around here (since there was also a major health crisis with Mr. Lime that year as well).  I had nothing left over for crusades against jackassery.

My girl went on to complete a physically demanding internship after her senior year because we finally had a diagnosis and an effective treatment to which she responded well.  Since that time she has moved home as she prepares for the next steps in her journey.  To that end she has been working to save money for school.  She recently picked up a second job at a fast food place. 

Now imagine my reaction when she came home last night and told me the same teacher who tormented her through her senior year came through the line, recognized her, and made the comment, "Yeah, I remember you.  Not surprised you're working in fast food."  Calypso saw the fire in my eyes and made me promise not to go after him because she'd fight her own battles.  She didn't make me promise not to vent my rage here (after a week of rage inducing bullshit in other areas, which were I to post about them here, may get me fired).  Here then allow me to give voice to my opinion of this pathetic waste of teaching credentials.

Dear Sir,

Do the students of this school district a favor right now.  Turn in your certificate to teach.  You have no business being in front of a class or interacting with students in any way.  You discredit the profession with every breath you take and damn near every word you speak.  You are a small man with no higher brain function and less moral development.  The only way you know how to feel better about yourself is to attempt to make others feel small.  

Your job as a teacher is to educate your students.  No, I don't think that means to coddle them but it sure as hell does not mean you tear them to shreds for no reason other than to strengthen your own ego. You have the opportunity to be one who not only educates a student's mind but who inspires a student's spirit. Instead you see the chance to poke at weakness and expose it, not for the sake of improvement but to erode what little strength exists.  You are nothing but a bully.

I know I should feel pity for you that something in your life has damaged you to the extent that you perpetrate that abuse upon your students but you've chosen to target my child.  I tend to lose my sense of compassion when you cross that line. When you bare your teeth to my child you awaken the mother bear.  How dare you.!  If my daughter were still in a vulnerable place in her life I'd show you what it means to be ripped to shreds.  

To her credit she has grown in maturity and in strength.  She knows your words are nothing but a fart in the wind, a foul stench which soon enough clears and cannot do any real damage.  She knows you have no power over her and that your opinion is meaningless.  She gives an honest day's work for an honest day's pay, which is more than can be said of you because no teacher who would say that to a student has any integrity to speak of. She demonstrated how far she has come when she responded to your attempt to belittle her by saying she is proud of earning her diploma in spite of your efforts to keep it from her.  She knows she is working there now in order to finance her further education and an honest job allowing her to do so is not beneath her.

It is admittedly more because of her growth as a person who recognizes her own value and the impotence of your attempted insult than any character I may possess that I chose to honor her request not to go after you. The next time you see her you owe her your gratitude.

Ever so sincerely,
Calypso's mother


(not necessarily your) Uncle Skip, said...

What bothers me is the assbite probably earned [sic] his degree and teaching credential at taxpayer expense.
Backwardness like him are beneath contempt.
It is a shame he has had a further opportunity to attempt to torment you further.

joeh said...

If you were to just let his name slip even by mistake on an email to say a cranky person, it is possible that his name could somehow be associated with this post and if someone Googled his name they would see your ringing endorsement of his character.

Just a thought.

Jackie said...

I want to commend your daughter for her stand on fighting her battles; this speaks volumes about her maturity and strengthens my opinion about what an exemplary person she is. Give her a hug for me.
As for the piece of wasted breath that calls himself an educator, he shames the profession of which I am a member. If perchance he ever reads this, I want him to know that he is NOT a teacher. He is a pathetic person who happens to hold a teaching certificate.
Mama Bear: you are awesome.

Hilary said...

They are opposite ends of the spectrum.. your girl and this "teacher." Calypso exudes and evokes pride, honour and dignity. Butthead teacher - shame, smallness and pity. I hope she spoke her feelings to him.. if only with her expression.

Bijoux said...

Is your son a senior? As soon as he graduates, you should write a letter to the superintendent of your school district and cc the entire board of education, along with the principal of the school.

Secret Agent Woman said...

I agree with Bijoux - as soon as all your kids are clear, I'd be raising hell. It's insane that people like that are teachers.

Anvilcloud said...

It's a great letter, especially the fourth paragraph, and especially the first part of it: farting in the wind, indeed.

As a former educator, I find this deplorable.

Tabor said...

Having worked with schools I have encountered those people who have no business being around children and young people. They are few and far between thank goodness. I bless your restraint but I am glad your daughter spoke up for herself and I hope she continues to do so, and I hope this spurs her to become very successful so that she can visit him in the future in her new business suit!

Stephen Hayes said...

Your letter was well-written and to the point. Teaching is often a thankless job. I know, having taught many classes, but when I came to the conclusion that I couldn't proceed with the required positive attitude I found another line of work. I figured the students deserved a teacher who really cared.

Anonymous said...

Asshole doesn't even begin to cover it. Can't help but wonder how many others - who didn't have the support and determination Calypso has - just gave up.

Craig said...

jackass. . .

Too bad someone can't just up and give him the ass-kicking he deserves. . .

Suldog said...

What a moronic dickhead. I hope she spit in his burger.

Ed Winkle said...

Fortunately I never received a letter like that after 31 years of public service as an agricultural educator. However, over my lifetime I surmised that half the people I ever met or worked with was in the wrong career. The hardest job as a parent, teacher, and school board member has been directing that process that helps a child decide which career paths they should consider. So many of us end up in the wrong job for the wrong reason. I didn't want to teach, I wanted to farm! It took five years but I did learn to teach.

Ed Winkle