Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Reason #1 through infinity

Reason # 1 through infinity on how I made it through today: my amazing students.

Y'all know they are amazing.  I have bragged on them in the past.  But nothing, I mean nothing, like I am going to brag on them today.  So, as you all know I have a major bully at work who had me in tears yesterday afternoon, last night, early this morning, intermittently throughout the day, and evening over hateful and hurtful things she had said.  Well, I asked a "leading question" in the office about the building being closed over break and needing to be here (they then led the conversation so I wasn't a "tattle tale" but simply answering questions), etc.  A couple hours later my AP came to my classroom to affirm that I am a competent person, the office supports me, I am a valid employee and not to take it personal.  Not so much people.  Not so much, because attacking the core of my person is very, very personal.  And I let them know about the last three years.  I spilled and I spilled and I spilled and I cried and I cried and I cried like a weenie.  It was nice to hear they support me, but really, it is personal.  When  I went back to class it was pretty obvious I had been crying and the children, being children, asked what was wrong.

Here's the scene:

Me: I'm okay boys and girls.  Really, I'm okay.
Child: But you were crying.  What happened?
Me: Well, someone was very mean to Miss ____.  They said some hurtful things, and sometimes when grownups are upset, they cry like kids do.  
Child: Was (Assistant Principal) mean to you?  Did he hurt your feelings?
Me: No, no boys and girls.  (Assistant Principal) came to talk to try and make me feel better.  But sometimes when we talk about something that makes us sad, we cry.  Even if it's not that person's fault.  (Assistant Principal) was trying to help.
Child: But why would someone say mean things to you?
Me: [at this point I'm feeling myself tearing up again] I'm not sure boys and girls.  It wasn't very nice and I'm trying to be strong for you, but it's really hard today because they were very very mean and made me feel very bad about myself. [cue full on tears in the classroom, in front of the children...a first ever people, a first ever]

At this point the entire class got up, raced over, and gave me hugs.  They were saying things like, "it's okay to cry if you're sad" and "you're a great teacher Miss _____"  and "we're here for you" and so on and so on.

[Cue super big tears at this point]

Child: Our hugs aren't helping?
Me: Yes, yes they are.  These are good tears.  I'm realizing how lucky I am to have such wonderful and caring boys and girls in my room.  Grownups are weird, sometimes we cry over good things too.

Out on the playground later:

J--(y'all know J): [wrapping his little arms around my waist] How ya feeling Miss ______?
Me: Better.  The hugs from the class helped.
J: Good.  Cuz I don't like that someone was mean to you.  You should tell them that that is a repeller and no one will want to be their friend.

If he only knew...if he only knew...

P.S. There is much more to the story, but essentially, I'm now the ringleader (according to my mom...who by the way, I KNOW YOU READ THIS YOU GOOBER-WHO-DOESN'T-SAY-ANYTHING-ON-THE-PHONE...I KNOW!!!!) I didn't set out the be the leader but alas, that is the way it has been at work.  I can't help it.  I got hurt.  I got pissed.  I took a chance.  I opened my mouth and big can of worms (you thought I was going to say whoop-ass didn't you?)...we shall see how the story unfolds...I will be out front leading the protest to Central Office if need be.


sheA said...

Jersay- seriously- seriously- this is how I know without a doubt what an awesome teacher ( as well as a PERSON, in general) you are- being REAL in front of the kids- not trying to pass it aside, not trying to cover it up- being real and being OK with crying- because just like pooping- Everybody does it- just sometimes people make it out to be a bad thing- but you are teaching- real life kid...real life...

and if you need me to- I will get my gay ass to a protest- cuz you KNOW thats how I roll!!!!!!!

Carolyn said...

I had to awwww out loud when your class smothered you in hugs. And J is the sweetest.

I'm glad everyone supports you and you in essence have a mini army to defend your honor! J can be their leader of righteousness.

We're here for you too!