By Rydel Clementino
This being a woman’s month, I remember one lady- a teacher at that who-decades later I realized, was unkind and insensitive to her pupils during a Mathematics class.
I could never forget her because she embarrassed or shamed me to death to my classmates because I was slow, though in Math only. I could see my classmates eyes pity on me, some even can’t seem to look at me. That was how bad it was.
I realized now that teacher must be so unhappy in her life that she vents her unhappiness and anger to Math-dumb like a few of us and made her feel good. She has the habit of asking some of us stand in front of the black board and do mathematical computations that we hardly understood yet.
She would annoyingly at first point out our error then start screaming how dumb we are. Today, there’s a name to what she was doing: verbal abuse and bullying.
You could imagine some of us wishing we’d “evaporate” up to the sky and fly like an Eagle that very moment and she gets swallowed by crocodiles we heard live nearby the school.
That was the main reason I sometimes refuse to go to school again but I never told my parents why. I dread my mom will talk to the teacher and there’s trouble ahead. I know my mom. She was protective of me and know she won’t like the style of teaching she was always patient and understanding no matter how slow or mischievous her sons would be.
Being a teacher herself, she always make it a point to have her pupils like or trust her. Once she told us she can’t afford her pupils to dislike her because she is their second mother, and second mothers must be loved and respected as well, not feared.
She further said that in the classroom she set example of kindness, understanding and patience. I will never forget this line from her. To me it was the ideal teacher, like a true mother, which she was, fortunately for me.
It’s sad that the Math teacher whom most of us dislike because her disrespect to us, never had this principle in her heart and mind. I remember many years later I learned that she led a troubled life because she can’t accept her womanizing husband left her for another younger woman.
I heard too her only child succumbed to prohibited drugs and lose his sanity. He earlier reportedly blamed her for the bad life he went through.
I do not condemn her now. I have learned to forgive her many, many years ago yet but I can never forget the way she mistreated us. One elder’s unkind voice can stick to a child but should never be given prominence. The opposite of it should, like what my mother was as a teacher.
All her ex-pupils now talk fondly of her, like they wish she’s still around to honor her.
My mom, in a big way was the kindest and loving teacher in our young, growing up years. Everyone’s light.
Artwork courtesy of ASL TEACH PANEL WALL ART