Tuesday, February 24, 2009

"I hate Mrs. Tricia"

It happened today. I was starting to think it would never happen. I thought that IF it ever did happen, it would be from Seven... with whom I have a strong love/hate relationship.

But it was from one of my favorites. Gasp!

We were grading workbooks in English class today, and we went through everything with no mishaps, which is slightly unusual. As the kids were passing back the workbooks to the correct people, Manna walked up to me. She said, "Look what is in Karoon's workbook."

I glance down and see: "I hate Mrs. Tricia. She is so mean and ugly and fat." Whoa, buddy! "Karoon, can I speak to you outside please?" I take the workbook.

I found the page, which was not a page they have done any work on. I showed it to him and said, "did you write this?" He hesitated. I didn't want to believe it, so I was hoping that he was trying to decide whether or not to tell on one of his more rowdy friends.

"Yes." He looked down. (My chest tightens as I thought about what this meant... do they all hate me?) "Why did you write this, honey? What did I do to make you hate me?"

"You made me run laps in P.E. when I didn't even do anything wrong." What?!? You hate me because I made you run 2 laps in P.E. one day? "Well, Karoon, there was a reason that I made you run laps, but even if there wasn't, would that be enough reason for you to hate me? Hate is a very strong word."

He hesitated again. "Karoon, this makes me very sad. I'm so sorry that I did something to make you so upset, but do you really mean that you hate me?" "No, Mrs. Tricia." "Well, because I can agree that sometimes I am mean, and I will even allow you to say that I am fat and ugly... but I cannot accept you saying that you hate anyone." He is getting really fidgety now, and I was wondering if I should explain to him that Jesus tells us if we hate someone, it is like we are killing them. I didn't explain it.

I explained that I love him and the rest of the class, and it makes me very sad that I did something to make him hate me. I explain that he had to run laps because he was not listening to directions in P.E. class. Did he remember that now? Yes, he did. Then, I said that I was so sorry for causing him to be so mad at me. Then, he started crying and said sorry. I said I was sorry too, but I told him it was very disrespectful for him to write that in his book. He apologized again, and I forgave him and hugged him.

We walked back into class and continued on as normal. After school, there was a note on my desk that said:
I am sorry I made you sad.
I am a bad student.
Your student, Karoon

Noooooo! I don't want him to label himself as a bad student. It's like he missed the whole point. I wanted him to feel responsible but genuinely sorry. I didn't mean to heap guilt onto him.

Any suggestions from parents and teachers? Obviously, I have a lot to learn.


  1. You are such a good teacher. That story almost made me cry. I think that even if he doesn't totally get it now he will. The point is that you love him no matter if he hates you or not because God loves us although we turn our backs on him--unconditional love is the point of this story.

  2. I think you should write in his book,

    "Mickey mouse is a pansy, and 'Karoon' is a silly name, like 'Moron'"

    That should set the record straight...

    ...or not