My Personal History Project

by BW005
Last updated 8 years ago

Discipline:
Social Studies
Subject:
Historical biographies
Grade:
6,7,8,5

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My Personal History Project

Why Teach?

by Mrs. Waterbury

"When I was in the 6th grade, my teacher took one of my classmates and chained him to his desk with a log chain!"

My 6th Grade teacher was a woman named Mrs. Schumm. She was a very strict, middle-aged woman, with very little patience. There was a boy in my class named Gregg, and I'm sure he had ADHD, but we didn't diagnose it back then. He just couldn't sit still, kept walking around the room, bothering other kids, and talking out of turn. Mrs. Schumm got so sick of it, so tired of trying to make him behave, that she threatened to chain him to his desk if he didn't sit down. "If I have to talk to you one more time today, Gregg, I am going to bring a log chain to school tomorrow and chain you to your desk." Of course, he did something to irritate her within seconds, so she announced in front of the class, "You better go to the bathroom, Gregg, before coming to class tomorrow, because you aren't getting out until noon, if then!"The look on his face said it all: he didn't believe for a second that she would follow through on her threat! I sat in disbelief the next day as she moved his desk to the front of the room, facing away from us, and began slowly wrapping that chain around him. I remember thinking to myself, "I could do better than that." He was really embarrassed, and you could tell he would have liked to be anywhere but our classroom. I thought I saw a glimmer of a tear in his eye before he turned away from me. It was a really long day for all of us. Some kids were horrified, like I was. But others thought it was funny and joined right in there, taunting him, calling him "stupid," "animal," whatever they felt like saying. Mrs. Schumm did nothing to stop them. I talked to Gregg after school, when I saw him sitting on the floor outside the classroom with his head in his hands. He said, "I'm never coming to school again. My dad can't make me," and his voice was really shaky. Of course, he did come to school the next day, and the rest of the days that year, too. We always did what our parents told us to or faced worse punishment than we got at school. "The teacher is always right," was my mom's motto. The sad thing is, the chaining incident didn't do anything to change his behavior, but Mrs. Schumm kept trying to belittle him and "Get him in line," for the entire year. She basically ignored the rest of us, writing our assignments on the board, while she continued to try to "deal" with Gregg. This one event in my elementary school years had a lot of impact on my life. I realized for the first time that I wanted to be a teacher someday, and here I am!

I knew I could do better than that!


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