Friday, April 14, 2006

Because of Kara

I have my moments as an elementary school teacher when either a single student or the whole class will push my buttons until I become agitated. I hate it when that happens, but not for the reason you think. The class in general or individual students will deserve that I raised my voice, and many of them deserve consequences much more serious than a teacher’s raised voice.

I regret raising my voice because of Kara. Her father developed a inoperable brain tumor last year, and his symptoms were irrational anger, frustration, and violence, and he was eventually institutionalized. If I raise my voice just a little, she will cry right there in the classroom. The laws of physics are suspended, and her teardrops will be larger than any other teardrops in the whole wide world, snowballing down her cheeks, falling timelessly through space and splashing like car wrecks on her blouse. She won’t tell anyone why she cries sometimes, even the school counselor. But I know why she cries when a man raises his voice. It’s because it reminds her of a disturbed father who changed inexplicably on her, and he scared her, and he has been taken away to a strange, uncomfortable place that she reluctantly visits, and he is gone now, and things will never be the same. I try hard not to raise my voice, and because of Kara I do it less than I ever did in the past. But on the recent, rare occasion that I do, I wish I hadn’t. Because of Kara.

1 comment:

Laura said...

I hope I remember this next time I am yelling at Jake. The responsibility with which you teach is awesome to me. Almost makes me feel bad that I teased you about being Mr. Holland.