a gentle dig that hurts so much

a red heart painted on a white wall
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It’s hard to believe that the nastiest part

Of my long Monday took place outside

The grotty Year 10 toilets where a throng

Of teenage girls shot me horrible looks

And giggled behind hands as I passed.

I’m a teacher, for God’s sake

And yet still my heart takes a silent beating

As I pass with my head low, wondering

Why I came back to school for more

Of this horrid abuse, that most fear for life.

Today felt really bad because of one moment caused by a girl who is fast becoming my worst nightmare. I lost my Year 10 class because she was so unpleasant to me and she obviously blames me for the fact that she has been moved to a class where she is apart from her friends.

She has obviously gone to her friends and told them all about how awful I am and when I was passing them as they were queuing for the toilet one of her friends gave her a nudge and nodded in my direction. This girl sneered at me and said ‘ugh’ as though I was something horrible that she had stepped in.

Now, I know I’m an adult and I’m probably being a bit snowflakey, but I felt like somebody had stabbed me in the heart and it genuinely made me feel low for the entire day.

I have been told that my skin will get thicker but it still hurts so hard. I know that it stems from my upbringing where I knew that I would always be wrong and nobody would believe me. Now that I’m an adult I still fear that my boss will believe a fourteen year old over me.

It’s amazing how the things we are told as children can shape us so totally as adults. My colleagues think this girl is an idiot and yet still that fear that they believe her over me is so real.

More therapy, anyone?

Much Love

Rachel xx

at the hands of the mean girls

people wearing running shoes
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They stand at the edge of the field

Sniggering sharply, behind hiding hands,

Not willing to shout, but too cool to cheer.

One day they’ll grow, and know how it feels

To suffer their dagger and barbed little words.

For now I will dance to the beat of my drum,

No letting girls in their sour teenage years

Pull me to pieces in the prime of my life.

So, during my first year of teaching I have found that I really struggle with older students (those of around fourteen to fifteen). It’s surprised me that I gel with the younger ones, while I tend to bring out the worst in a Year 10.

There was one group of girls that particularly upset me early on, and the class was taken off me because they were really being nasty. However, I still have to see these girls around school so I’ve really had to grow a slightly thicker skin for when I pass them in corridors and they give me withering looks.

Today, I took part in the school triathlon, and I’m not exactly a sprinter so I was bringing up the back of the pack during the run. It was done at lunchtime and we ran straight through the middle of the school grounds so that we could have a marathon vibe as we competed.

Of course, these girls were at the side of the route and I saw them laughing at me as I passed. But you know what? I kept on running and waving at all the students who were cheering me on.

I know that 15 is a tough age and I really hope that in a couple of years they will look back at their Mean Girls ways and cringe a little bit. I just hope that my little Year 7s stay nice and I never have to feel embarrassed running past them.

Much Love

Rachel xx

such a funny age

low angle shot of young woman
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They’re just like little adults in the world

With half formed brains and unformed lives,

No life experience needed for an understanding of

The feelings of the others on this earth.

They push the buttons, poke at nerves

Raw with pain and overuse, like skin

That’s been so scorched with evil flames

Leaving red and sticky wounds that hurt to touch.

With fifteen years within their bank, they know

Those wounds are there, and that the touch will hurt.

They don’t know yet, the pain and damage that

Their scratching does, the long term hurt

They’ll only know with yet another fifteen years

Underneath their lifeling belts.

I am really struggling with my Year 10 students at the moment and it’s eating me up. They are fifteen and they are intelligent so they know that what they say can hurt, but I don’t think that they have the maturity to know that it can have a long term effect.

I am a bit of a softy and I should really be in therapy, but still, I am learning that I struggle to deal with their hurtful comments because they really make me question myself.

The biggest problem with these students is that they don’t have much life experience yet. They know how to push your buttons, but they are too young to know just how fucked up grown ups can be. And interestingly, it’s the intelligent girls from rich families who are the worst. Many of them have had really entitled lives with parents who tell them the sun sshines out of their bums.

The students that have really horrible home lives are not vindictive at all. Those guys will act up, but they know pain and they don’t seem ready to inflict it on other people.

If I can give you any advice, if you are a parent and you are giving your kids the very best of everything: educate them on how cruel the world can be and how compassion is the antidote to any of that crap. Kids that know this, are the kids that will go on to lead the world – in the right direction.

Much Love,

Rachel xx