Dear Hard Hearted Coworker,
Today, I stood at the door of the reading lab, waiting for you to dismiss your third graders so that the fourth graders lined up outside could come in and get to work (Why DO we have to wait for ONLY YOUR KIDS to finish every day? What are you, Super Teacher? Let them go on time so that they can get back to their classroom and finish their work so they don’t have to do it at recess! Thanks!) I mostly try not to listen to the way you talk to kids on a daily basis because you are so disrepectful of them, it hurts me to hear it. I turn my head, busy myself, cover my ears, whatever it takes. But I was caught off guard today when I heard what you said to that third grade boy as you dismissed him. You turned to pick up some photos and then said to him, “And don’t bring these back here. They’re no big deal. They’re just pictures of you as a little boy- no big deal.”
I couldn’t turn away this time. I didn’t even care that you saw me looking at you. The boy looked confused. He took the pictures from you and looked at them, almost as if he couldn’t believe you would say pictures of him as a little boy we’re “no big deal”. Then, to make sure he understood, you said again, “They’re no big deal.”
As the boy walked past me out the door, I said, in a low voice, “They ARE a big deal.” He looked at me, still confused, so I repeated myself. He smiled slowly, nodded his head and walked back to class, still looking at the pictures.
Can I just ask you this, Hard Hearted Coworker? What the hell? He’s 8 YEARS OLD! Why? Why would you say that to an 8 YEAR OLD KID?!
Wait, don’t answer. There is nothing you could say that would explain your cruel behavior. Not to me, anyway. You think you know everything, you have worked at our school for more than 10 years, blah, blah, blah, whatever. But, Hard Hearted Coworker, you know nothing about how a kid feels when he is talked to like you talked to that boy. If you did, you would know you kind of crushed him today. I saw that in his face. And I think you may have, too, but….you didn’t care.
It won’t matter what I say to you and I don’t need more stress in my life, so I’ll say nothing about this and life in the reading lab will continue as usual. But I wanted to let you know that I saw what happened and I can say that you really lived up to your name today. It suits you.
One more thing, while we’re here. Why do you think it’s O.K to make a bowl of oatmeal every morning and eat your oatmeal while kids are reading to you, across the table , just a few feet away? And then? You go out on the yard to supervise recesss and take pleasure in telling kids, who didn’t eat their snack because they were playing (yes, they were playing and lost track of time- they’re KIDS!) and are shoving their snack in their mouths as the bell rings, to throw their snack away! Maybe you could stop that, Hard Hearted Coworker, before your name is changed to Hard Hearted Bitch.
Thanks for listening, Hard Hearted Coworker! Oh, wait, I forgot, you don’t listen to ANYONE!
Your Mostly Kind Hearted Coworker Who May Have Worked At This School For Only A Year And A Half But Knows Way More Than You Do About How To Treat Kids