Tears, Fears, and Mascara Smears

“What?!” I looked on in horror as Carey stood in the doorway of my classroom. Judging by the sight of her, it was safe to assume that someone surely had died.

Carey is another first year org-member and fellow first year, clueless math teacher at The Delta High School. I like her a lot, we get along really well, and she is what I would consider a phenomenal first year teacher. She has her shit together, she is on top of everything, and she know the content (that’s a big one that I certainly do not have). But here Carey was, standing at my door face all puffy and red with tears welling up behind her eyes.

“I–I,” she began, stammering through her hysterics. “I just had a parent-teacher conference and this mom just ripped me to shreds!”

Carey then went on to explain the whole story behind the particular student and the details of the conference itself. Basically, the student is struggling and not asking for help, not coming to tutorials, not doing his homework, and left 75 percent of his test completely blank. “And—and.. his mom said my biggest fear of all!” she now sat slumped in a desk tears streaming down her cheeks. Dear God, I thought to myself, racing over to close my door, the bell is going to ring in seven minutes get your shit together, Carey! 

“She said it’s because I’m a bad teacher!” 


I just, emotionally do not understand how people take some of this shit so personally. No shit a mom says it’s your fault! She just cares about what is best for her kid and her kid is probably trying to cover it up and save his ass by convincing mama and daddy at home that none of it could ever be his fault. I pulled this shit only 5 years ago! I know exactly how the story goes. 

All I could say to Carey was a nicer version of…


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