Posts Tagged ‘childhood’

I Was Only 9

She was everyone’s favourite teacher. A robust woman with a beautiful singing voice who incorporated song into every lesson.

Her sharp eye and no-nonsense attitude made even the class clown cower.

She expected the best from us.

I was only 9.

We made our cursive loops loopier, our singing voices sweeter, our “Lords Prayer” louder in hopes of winning her approval.

Her pinned hair, soft scent, and overflowing bosom was a welcome guest to the desk of any student to whom she was partial.

Heads coming together over journals, backs patted, good jobs and way to go’s.

This teacher everyone loved.

This woman adults praised and students ran to on the school yard.

Hated me.

I was only 9.

When she spoke to other children her sing-song voice filled the room with smiles but when she spoke to me it was harsh and short.

One word sentences ending with a sideways glare, mouth in a straight line.

Attempts at making her like me proved fruitless.

Like when I cut off all of my long hair and came to school in tears.

Looking to adults for support because kids are cruel.

Maybe she would sympathize?

I was only 9.

“Everyone we have a new little boy in our classroom.”

The class laughed.

So much embarrassment, confusion, frustration.

Tears were not acceptable in her classroom so I sat with my head down for the rest of the day wishing my hair would grow back.

At Christmas our class held try outs for the Christmas concert and I competed against two other girls for the part of Mary in the Christmas Story.

I won the part.

I was only 9.

She pulled me aside to tell me the news and by the despondent look on her face I could tell she was not pleased with the cast.

“If you don’t keep your grades up you will not participate and one of the other girls will get your part.”


I was only 9.

Over the years I have thought about this teacher a lot.

My hair cut.

This concert.

I thought about what I would do if I ran into her again.

There were years when I would have said and did a whole lot.

I was only 9.

But now.

I would say nothing.

I feel sorry for her.   Sorry that she had such a cold heart towards a little girl. Sorry that she is remembered for being so callous.

I forgive her.


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