Goodbye, Teacher?

The award promised

Today’s the last day of school for my eldest daughter. Another chapter in her student life has ended; by June, she’ll be a second grader. She came home this afternoon a little sad though. Apparently, her teacher had announced that she would no longer be around, and my daughter admitted to crying along with her classmates, especially after she apologized to them. Despite their class adviser’s “grumpy” demeanor, she said that they would still miss her.

Yesterday, this same person was fired before me. I was quite uncomfortable with it, even if the school directress/part-owner assured me that the decision was made long before I came to see her, and the person already knew of the decision. Somehow, I couldn’t help feeling partly responsible for her loss of income. Of course, I had made it clear that I had no intention of putting her in the bad light, worse, having her lose her job. I was there as a concerned parent to a hurting child, whose cause for dejection was her own class adviser’s careless words and actions.

My daughter won the poster making contest, but came to school last Monday too late to receive her award on stage. Her teacher promised to give it to her before classes were over that day, but two days had passed and nothing happened. When she tried to remind her teacher about it by first giving her a card, the teacher only told her to “Throw it in your house!” without another word, not even inspecting what my daughter was trying to give her.

Armed with a grievance letter, I went to my daughter’s school to report the incident the following day. Sure, the teacher was given the chance to apologize and explain. She was teary-eyed, apologetic, and spoke very softly. Nevertheless, she did not fail to make me feel like I was responsible for her job loss, asking me why I had to bring the matter to the directress’s attention. However, it was already too late for her. Whatever hope she had of making amends for the wrongs she had done so she could at least save her job was all gone. To me, the way she treated my daughter the previous day was the last straw. To the school, my grievance has simply added to the ‘already’ last straw they had for her. (Apparently, she had been using the school’s name for her own gain and the school discovered it.)

I suppose she must have a great need for her to have risked her credibility and integrity, throwing away 13 years of teaching experience. And I suppose that apparent need had made her insensitive to her students’ needs. It’s just sad that things had to end that way for her, or at least, her teaching career with that particular school. I couldn’t help feeling sad for her despite all the bad memories I could associate with her that I even sent her a card, thanking her for having been part of my daughter’s life, wishing her well, and I even attached one of my daughter’s drawings, asking her to remember my daughter for who she really is: a smart, talented, sensitive, and caring child.

I hope she finds light at the end of her dark tunnel soon and never commit the same mistakes again.

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