Or at least some crappy single mother, who decided that teaching kids was “easy.” They’re the ones that give this profession a bad name. They’re the reason why I have to be fearful about my good name at the school. There were two of them. Two, in my wing of the school, whose job it was to make my life even more miserable than it already was.
It goes without saying that there is always tension between special educators and general education teachers. It’s because we special educators know that we are better because we teach the worst possible kids. But general educators think that they are superior because they educate the future or some bullshit. It’s bullshit because teachers, who are out to get other teachers fired, are not good teachers. They are petty bitches who made me want to cry all of the time.
So, you might be wondering why I would even devote an entry to these horrible people, who call themselves teachers. It’s because it was a contributing factor in my misery. My soul-wrenching depression as a first year teacher. You must understand every facet of it.
There was Ms. El. She wore braces and was surprisingly nice when I first met her. I didn’t realize that she would turn into the bane of my existence. She was young like me, or so I thought. Black women (god, I hate them for it) look so young. I’ve seen 55 year-old black women look like they are not a day over 30. It’s ridiculous. We white people get wrinkles and whatnot, but not the lovely black woman. She stays young and wrinkle free. Bitch.
Anyway, Ms. El was not my age. She was, big surprise, a single mother in her mid-30s. WTF? God, please send me back as an ageless black woman. That’s all I want. No more wrinkle cream and eye makeup. Anyway, I hated her. She even walked with a nasty attitude. Her sole mission it seemed was to make my job miserable and run to the principal with my incompetence.
Ah, but it was she that was completely incompetent (even more than me as a first year media studies major with no formal education in how to teach). I remember one day I walked by her room as I was taking kids to the bathroom. I saw one of her students, Jay, standing outside of the door. “Jay, what’s wrong, baby? Why are you standing outside of the classroom facing the wall?” He looked at me with big puppy eyes and said: “Ms. El told me I had to stand here until I can sit in my seat and do my work.”
What? What the hell? This is not 1974 where we send special education kids to the basement or put them in closets. This is 2008, and Jay is special ed, but he doesn’t deserve this. He has ADHD; I’ve noticed his symptoms during lunch duty and on the playground. But he doesn’t deserve to be sent outside of class to stare at the walls. He has accommodations; he has needs that have to be taken care of by the classroom teacher.
But she doesn’t. Toward the end the of year, Jay starts coming to my classroom during naptime. I really like him. I actually wish I could have a classroom full of kids like him, instead of the 7 demons I’ve been charged with. But he doesn’t belong with the autists; he belongs in the 2nd grade. It was truly a sad sight.
There was another teacher who was out to get me. She was butt buddies with Ms. El. Her name was Ms. Tee. She was a miserable thorn in my side as well. I don’t know what I did to these women to make them hate me. It might have been that I was white and they were black. But I was fat and they were skinny with kids and wrinkle-free. There was nothing to hate about me. I had the worst class in the school, come on. Being jealous of me was just something I couldn’t comprehend.
Ms. Tee liked to make me look like a fool. One day, I sent a kid to the bathroom and well, I forgot about him. It was Mikey. Mikey was an easy kid to forget about because he was so annoying. Once he was gone from the room, he was gone from my mind. Well, anyway, he didn’t come back from this trip to the bathroom and Ms. Tee finds him. Now, instead of taking him back to my room, she takes him to the principal’s office.
Come on now. There was no reason for that; she could have easily taken him back to my room. But no, she had to tattle on me. She was like a little child telling to her parents that her sister stole her lollypop or something. It was awful. My principal reprimanded me in the harshest of ways. Please, I am not a terrorist for god’s sake. There were days when I wanted to scream, “Ms. Tee, you teach these awful, no good autistic children. Try it, let’s see if you can manage for one day.”
It was always that mindset that gave me the ultimate superiority over everyone, my principal included. I was the one teaching the worst class in the school. It was me who came in day after day to slave away with those children. In my mind, I was the best employee in that school. Well, maybe not the best, but at the very least, the most delusional.