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Friday, March 20, 2015

A lesson taught by a Teacher - #1000speak

This post also appeared on The Huffington Post

The first day at a nearby day care for Pihu, now 2.5, was a disaster. The teacher could not handle her crying as my daughter missed me, my number was not reachable and by the time I came to check on her, the clueless, dumb teacher shouted at her.
My girl looked all silent when she came in my arms telling me between sobs -"I want to go home". Immediately, I took her back and did everything to lighten her up. I am making sure my daughter is happy and her usual self. Also, I am busy preparing and looking for a really nice school for her, no matter how elite or grounded. I am so thankful that the prominent genes in my girl are of her Father, who was always confident at school, else I would be having sleepless nights filled with apprehensions whether I would be able to save my daughter from the same plight as mine. This incident freshened up the dent in my memory and took me back to the time when the timid, sleek-looking 8-year old me would get bullied almost everyday and once was mercilessly battered by a teacher in Primary school. I distinctly remember one day when I couldn’t muster up enough courage to speak truth, as I was too scared of my peculiar teacher. On one-hand children enjoyed when she used to humor but on the same side they dreaded when she got angry. Her voice would become so loud that the whole class would shiver out of fear.

I had a weak start at schooling, an under-confident toddler. And none of my teachers could see that let alone work on that. Years passed and I remained same, scared to go to school. I was in fourth standard and that day I couldn’t find my subject book in bag. Afraid of her, I took out another book of same size and kept it on my table. I had never done such thing before. The expressions on my face were enough to arouse her suspicion. And the discovery of the blunder done by me made the volcano in her to erupt. Without realizing the crux of my problem, she started slapping me. That day the whole class became spectator to her extreme level of temperament when she hit me hard once, twice and then uncountable number of times while making me repeat the word ‘Traitor’ after her.  Ashamed and trembling with shock I muttered after her and there seemed to be no end to the anger of this lady who was in her late 40s. It was the first time I came to know of this word, which got etched in my mind forever. With my lips slightly bleeding she made me stand out of the class, but I now guess that she got tired after so much of physical strain. After few minutes I was called again in the class. She was standing holding my book that was found later in the class locker. Apparently, it was with her for correction and I was too afraid to ask her!  ‘Who taught you such tricks? Your mother?’, she asked me angrily. I bowed my head in silence and shame, lips bleeding, cheeks red and hot in pain, and eyes dried of tears. I was again sent out of the class to be mocked by passerby in the corridor. 
Img courtesy http://www.bullyingeducation.org
‘You should not lie!’ my ‘teacher’ in an unusual way explained to me.

The night that followed, I couldn’t sleep as I was affected terribly. I sometimes wonder whether the night was same for my teacher! I was just lying on the bed in the darkness of the night with my eyes wide open looking into naught. My mind didn’t know whether my fault was so grave to get such punishment. I dreaded the idea of going to school the next day as the word ‘Traitor’ echoed in my ears.

It took me years to come out of my shell and face the world confidently. In between more so-called teachers came and vent out their anger at me as I found it impossible to find my voice.

It took me years to be able to ‘stand and speak up’. In between I struggled to enjoy my childhood and adolescence like others but failed miserably.

It took me years to understand when I was actually right and when I was not actually wrong. In between I was always confused on the validity of my thoughts and was looked upon as a strange person!

It took me years to comprehend that it was more of my Teachers fault, rather sin than mine. It was their duty to work on my weaknesses, to nurture me in the best possible ways. Instead they acted like bullies looking at me with contempt.

I came out of all that misery, forgiven all of them and became a confident woman who still prefers to remain quiet most of the times but knows how to break the silence when required. Thanks to another institution called Family, my habit of reading and my will to survive. Each experience can shape us or break us. I chose the former as I always maintain both good and bad teachers have played a vital role to make me what I am today. I don't enjoy making fun of others and seldom oppress anyone as I know what it feels to be on the other side. That day has left an impression on me forever and so, I am determined not to let any such bad 'teacher' near my daughter. I am determined not to let her become a bully but at the same time not let her become a victim either. I am all set to guide her in finding her voice. But one thing that disturbs me till date is how can some Teachers behave like that. Where is the sense of responsibility when instead of moulding the small children into some beautiful person they destroy their personality completely? When instead of working on their weaknesses they punish them making them feel guilty about themselves at a tender age. How can a pupil of such teachers grow up to become good, compassionate person? And the fact that I got so harshly beaten up by a Moral-Science Subject Teacher in a convent, English-Medium, Missionary school make this harsh reality even more hard to swallow!

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This post is a part of #1000Speak - Building from Bullying Campaign for Compassion

Also, linking with Friday's Reflection 

25 comments:

  1. Roohi, we have very, very similar posts for the #1000Speak theme today. (http://melissafirman.com/when-the-bully-is-the-teacher/)

    I'm so sorry this happened to you. Absolutely unacceptable.

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    1. I am over it, Melissa. That's why I could write it.. But I need to remind myself constantly and tell others too that such things happen to kids in school.. Its my duty to tell what are the repercussions of such punishments and that as parents we need to be be aware all the times..

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  2. I feel so bad that this happened to you...I don't understand such teachers...I really don't!

    #1000Speak: When They Bullied The New Girl...

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    1. I have forgiven her, Naba.. I don't know where is she.. and understanding such behavior.. hmm, I guess its beyond that.. No child should suffer at the hands of teachers and parents like that..

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  3. I'm so very sorry you went through this. Teachers don't realize at times how much power they have to mould the lives and minds of children. I'm glad you've chosen to share this today. It's a testament that you have been able to build from bullying!
    I hope your little girl never has to go through anything like this!

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    1. Sharing such incidence is not easy Corinne.. the world is already full of so much sufferings and I want to heal whatever I can through my writings.. So it was a little tough decision to share such unpleasant thing.. But as I have said it above it is also my duty to beware the people about how it feels to be bullied by a teacher!! Maybe, this post can save some teacher and some student from such experience..

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  4. My God Roohi !! Its scarring incident and I dare not call such people Teachers .. Its so relieving and positive that you are out of it .I hope there are no scars as for me being a mother and a teacher are the noblest of everything and to be such cruel, frustrated beings is shameful and disgusting. I agree with the last line.
    No childhood should suffer like this . Thats my hope and wish ...

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    1. I agree, how can people like this ever be called a 'teacher'? Well said

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    2. I pray that whoever take the job to become a teacher realize the nobility of this 'job', Kokila. Sadly, many people take it just like a job.. It is much, much more than that.. There are absolutely no scars.. It has made me more compassionate and lately, more forgiving :)

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  5. I am so sorry this happened to you, no hold should have to go through this. It is bad enough that the schoolyard is like a jungle and a battleground for some children but to suffer at the hands of the teacher is so much worse. You are in their care, they should nurture you. I am glad you did not let it break you.

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    1. It made me thoughtful, Mary. I may not be the most spontaneous person, but yes, definitely have a balanced and understanding mind.. Maybe that was the hidden good for me in that whole episode.. :)

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  6. That's terrible, Roohi.
    So sorry to learn of this. Hope no teacher and no one resorts to such abuse... It can break a person.
    Am so glad you have emerged stronger. Kudos!

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    1. It can definitely break a person, Anita.. But let me tell you something I have learned.. That is absolutely a choice, we always have a choice, we have full control on the direction we choose, no matter what has transpired with us!

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  7. I am so glad you came through this a confident woman. For some people, experiences like this can destroy them. Thanks for speaking up, sharing your story, and for linking up with us for #fridayreflections.

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    1. Thanks for this comment, Janine.. As I have already told that in so many years, I am over it, still it is not an easy thing to discuss a personal experience of that nature publicly.. But now that I am a full-time writer, I have a duty to show the truth to the world starting from my own stories..

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  8. What a horrible injustice for you to face as a young child. Just awful. I'm happy that you have come out of t his confident and willing to make your own daughter's life better.

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    1. This is life, Starr.. That's the beauty of it that it doesn't leave you with an option to sit and cry about something forever.. You have to move on.. The sooner the better.. Welcome to Soulful :)

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  10. Unfortunately in some cases, the wrong people have adorned the role of a noble profession-Their actions permanantly scar young innocent minds- Happy that you were able to come out of the experience healthy.My heart goes out to that 8 year old and many such children like her.. A story well told Roohi!

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    1. I remember I was crying like anything while watching 'Tare zameen par', really with tears and all.. and whole time wondering whether its based on my life :) Guess what even I was good at drawing, Rajeev.. My heart goes out to that 8-year old too.. Had I been in place of my teacher I would have done a one on one and showed the right way through love..

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  11. Many teachers (not all) are no different. Only difference they lash only with words now.
    I was terrified reading your story. :(

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    1. This is sad, Indrani.. A child can do so much, become so much if showered with love! I can see that now as I show love to my daughter..

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  12. a very powerful post, so honest and authentic. Your beautiful fighting spirit shines through. So glad you could rise above such an ordeal, I have so much respect for you! Thank you for linking up with us at #Friday Reflections xx

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    1. Thank you Mackenzie :) Writing is such a cathartic process, I am glad I could rise above it and can see life as a valuable gift.. Looking forward to #Friday Reflections..

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  13. Thank goodness corporal punishment is done with or on its way out! I remember many teachers in my days too were just plain sadistic!

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