If the option of being enrolled in a charter school was not available to me, I honestly don’t know what I would do. I would probably either be lost in a merciless sea of regular high school students or sitting at home, teaching myself the basics of biology and world history. At the charter school, I feel like I am apart of a greater community, one that cares deeply for each of the auspicious adolescents that are enrolled. The teachers there are the definition of magnificent and I looked up to them as if they were each distinguished members of the public eye.
But there is one teacher I look up to the most – Mrs. M. Unlike most science teachers, she is equipped with knowledge that goes far past the minimum of what teachers are suppose to teach their students. Her creative mind allows her to invent fun and hands-on activities that really allow us to explore a topic, instead of just reading meaningless words out of a textbook. With her as a teacher, I have learned more than I ever would’ve imagined and due to all this, I see Mrs. M as role model for all women young and old.
Despite the fact I view her as the epitome of teaching, I don’t think she sees me as anything more than a hormonal nuisance. Especially after what happened yesterday . . .
It all began as the students in her class and I dropped off our backpacks to attend some all-school motivational assembly. It was near the end of the day and I was dragging, so I had asked one of the other teachers if I could have permission to stay in the classroom to rest during the assembly. That teacher said yes and as students were budging their way out of the crowded classroom, Mrs. M caught me sitting in one of the desks, staring off into my own little world.
“Claire, come on”, She exclaimed gruffly. I knew she wasn’t the type of teacher to question and I immediately obeyed her sergeant-like order. Slowly I made my way to the assembly where the rancid odor of juveniles filled the expansive room. Once I sat my butt down on the end of an icy-cold bleacher, I realized something – my bladder felt like it was about to burst! I silently got up and bee lined my way to the nearest door in order to make my way to one of the girl’s graffiti-decorated rest rooms. Mrs. M though was right by the door I walked out of and in order to prevent her cruelly questioning me where I thought I was going, I calmly informed her I was going to bathroom as I walked past. You would have thought this would be no problem, right? Well, you’re wrong.
The second I completed telling her that I needed to get to a toilet, she started screaming at me. She told me I needed to change my attitude and that just because I was in pain and not feeling well doesn’t mean the whole world was out to get me. I, of course, was startled by her sudden verbal abuse and stood there like a deer about to be hit by an SUV. For a while I just stood still and allowed her words to punch me, but then eventually I got sick of it. I wasn’t feeling well. I was tired. Hell, I just wanted to go home and pray one of the doctors called during the day with an answer to my health issue. So I started walking down the white hallway towards the bathroom. She continued to yell louder and louder at me as I walk away. Soon I got so sick of it, I turned around I looked at her. I opened my small voice and in a calm voice I just said, “I don’t want to fight anymore”.
Her war of words stopped for a few peaceful seconds, giving me just enough time to enter the bathroom and start balling. I can’t tell you how much it hurts when someone you look up to just blows you off like you are nothing but a piece of dust. I try so hard in her class to be a model student. I raise my hand and ask inquisitive questions. I complete all the work she assigns and make sure I put in my best effort. For goodness sake, sometimes I will even take the time to discuss with her some new-found knowledge I discovered on nutrition. Yet despite all this, she turns around and starts screaming at me with all her might.
I guess though I have to try not to let this affect me too much. People aren’t going to be filled with rainbows and unicorns, even if you do your best to show kindness to them. Unfortunately, that’s just how the world works. I will just have to grab some a hot glue gun and try to glue back together the fragments of my self-esteem and keep moving on.