Part I: A Letter From a Student to a Teacher
Dear _____________ ,
Im so sick of teachers and people in positions of power trying to “shock” students by “exposing them to the world” like it’s some sort of “educational enrichment”.
Do yourself a favor and remember how traumatized you used to be as a young adult before you think we need to be “exposed” to evil that we already know. Just because there is variance in our experiences doesn’t make you the god of how affected we are in your head and on your terms.
I don’t think I’d ever be any sort of teacher in real life without putting extreme amounts of thought into how freshly hurt and not-jaded my students might be.
I used to be prodded by a fairly morbid teacher when I was younger, that romanticized emotional pain. He liked seeing me affected, so he’d often personally tell me horrible statistics or look at me at key parts during his lectures about atrocities. Don’t be what he was to me.
I think a lot of teachers confuse how affected the students are with how good of a teacher they are. It’s not about shocking your students, it’s about empowering them. They are not an outlet for you, they are not your societal payback or your punching bag.
You would think a “learned” person, such as yourself, would practice a little more introspection and self-actualization.
Part II: A Letter From an Ex-Psych Ward Girl to the Traumatized Student
Dear ______________ ,
I’m talking about this now, I’m talking to your teacher, and I am starting to regret my “me vs. them” mentality that used to be so present in my life for so long.
I see the “me vs. them” mentality in your teacher. They don’t think they’re affecting you enough, making you understand enough. Their adolescent behavior has a hold on them. So they cross over into dangerous territory, and I empathize with those steps.
In my mid-teens, I had the ability to psychologically mess with adults and make them cry. And I did. I did so to psych-specialist interns, and people that had already seen so much of humanity’s struggle within the countless subjects they had studied. I affected as many people as I felt like, and I saw my audience as one giant conglomeration of everything in my life that wasn’t working for me. I wanted everyone to feel my pain, so that someone would help me.
It was an emergency situation at the time, I understand why I did it. It didn’t get me anywhere, but it’s excusable. But now there’s no primal survival aspect to my life that involves what anyone else can do for me. I know my change is internal.
I find myself wishing I could apologize to the psych interns I made cry, the people I exposed my energy and pain to, the sections of society I felt were the enemy. Im realizing that the biggest enemy I ever had was ignorance.
I didn’t know how to handle my situation, my abilities, and my life, and so I hurt myself. I had a loaded gun, and I turned it around and shot every part of my body that wasn’t vital. There was no training and nobody taught me how to use it.
It was nobody’s fault, but it’s something that I need to correct now–just as your teacher needs to correct their methods of expression.
A hurt child should not grow into a hurt person that wants to display it, force it, at the cost of affecting others negatively.
I know you can’t comprehend letting this go in the future. Anger will help you maintain your will to self-preserve. All I can offer you right now is my understanding and my love.
I love you, I love you, I love you,
Latest posts by Sarah Wreck (see all)
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- Shock Value in the Classroom: Parts I and II - Oct 20, 2017