"She threw it out," my student tells me. It is the end of the day- dismissal time- and many of the students have already left. A few students remain with me in the classroom. My student- I'll call her M.- is telling me about a gift she gave her teacher last year, in another school, in another state.
"I did chores at home to earn $5 to buy her a teddy bear. But then she threw it out," M says.
The other students and I can't imagine a teacher throwing out a teddy bear given as a present.
"Maybe she didn't mean to throw it out- like she did it on accident?" a boy suggests.
M. shakes her head. "No she knew she threw it out."
I am flabbergasted at this teacher's actions. M. did chores to earn the money to buy a teddy bear, only to watch her teacher throw it in the garbage can? Of all the cruel behaviors of teachers, that might be the worst I've personally heard.
On my worst teaching day, I've never thrown out a child's present, bought with the money they earned, in front of them.
I guess that's something.
Kathleen Neagle Sokolowski