Thursday, December 3, 2009

Have a Heart, Teach

A 9-year-old kid (not mine) raised her hand in class one morning and said, "Mrs. Smith, I need to go to the clinic. I'm sick."

Her eyes were puffy and bloodshot and watery. She couldn't breathe through her nose. Her face was flushed a dark pink. The kid looked sick.

"Suck it up," responded the teacher.

The little girl had to wait until lunch time, when the class was in the cafeteria and she had access to other school personnel, to ask to go to the clinic. The teacher on duty in the cafeteria took one look at her and immediately excused her to go to the clinic. At the clinic, they determined she was ill. Her mother was called and the girl was sent home sick for the day.

The point: What's up with this teacher? Who says "suck it up" to a kid in fourth grade, especially one who's clearly under the weather? I mean, at least say something like "Try to hang in there, okay?".

What's with the tough talk? The teacher needs to take an empathy pill and drop the militant tough-guy approach. This is fourth grade, not boot camp.

Or am I just too soft-hearted?