Thursday afternoon I was dead tired and got myself a cup of coffee before the little guys came in. As I'm pouring another teacher comes in and starts to make small talk with me.
Teacher: "Hi lovely."
Me: "hi there!"
....getting cups and cream
T: "you're getting some coffee too, eh?
Me: "ya, I need a little something to get me through the rest of the afternoon."
T: "I know what you mean, my kids are being little fucks."
I did that laugh that happens when you have no freakin clue what to do or say next. I regretted it right after. Knowing this teacher had no idea who I was, I introduced myself. Let's be honest, I could be something from the School Board.
"I'm Sarah, a Ryerson student in Mrs.____ classroom"
"Oh I used to teach kindergarten, but now I teach Jr. Autism."
At this point, I was furious she called her Autistic students that ugly word. Thankfully she left because I was just about to.
It's been a few days now since this 30 seconds encounter happened but I just cannot get it out of my head. Educators have a job that requires them to love every one of their students. Giving love to the children who (in this school) do not get a lot of love at home.
I get that we have our days and moments where we're tired, we've had a fight with our boyfriend, we're getting frustrated and ya, when the bell rings at 3:15pm and the students are gone, we are thankful the day is over or make a comment that so-and-so was annoying today. But it's a comment we make sure we could say in front of the parents. I do not believe that the Jr. Autism teacher could stand in front of a parent and tell them their child is a little fucker. No way Jose.
The next day I saw her students perform a song/dance/play during the sharing assembly and the students did an amazing job. It filled my heart with so much joy seeing how proud one of the boys was when he finished his whistling solo. Then it made me angry when I saw the same teacher, give a thumbs up with a grin, praising this boy when the previous day she showed another side.
I can only hope that as I was telling Alex about this that she was telling someone in her life how much she regretted calling them that name and saying it out loud to me.
We have to love them.