I was in middle school, it was a music class and we had to pass a flute test individually.
During my turn, I made a mistake, cursed, then continued, hopping that I’ll do the rest right, and I did. I had everything right exept that one note and I felt like I was so close to succeed, I looked down.
Then My teacher said:
“It was really good! You made no false notes, you have the rythm, it’s a 10/10 score for me.”
I looked up at her a little surprised.
“But I’ve made a mistake.”
“Yes, but you didn’t stop here, you quickly continued anyway. That’s what matters.”
The next year, I had that technology teacher who was a big nerd of Citroën 2cv cars. At that time, I began to felt out of space, different. I had dysphoria, but as I had no idea that thing existed, I had no idea why I felt different. It was just a weird period for me.
Then one day after class, every student left but the teacher called me, asking me to stay sit, so I did.
He then sat next to me, looked at me and said.
“Are you alright ?”
I was surprised he asked me that. I said nothing and he continued, telling me I looked sad and distant from others, that he was worrying.
And suddenly I just started crying.
Nobody ever told me that before, I had no idea myself that I was, yeah, unhappy. I never cried in school, never had a fight, I was just shy and reserved. But that teacher saw that something was wrong when nobody did, not even myself.
And even if he didn’t know what was going on, even if I never really talked to him, he often stayed with me after class, telling me everything was going to be okay as I cried.
First year of hight school, I was really depressed. Still not knowing what was making me feel that way. I started to harm myself to get out of the frustration, and maybe to call for help as I was beeing bullied by many different people, including my french teacher, because I had blue hair and was really shy.
At that time I began to lose interrest in school, I wasn’t working at all anymore, I never studied, and one day we had to take a History test. I started writing a letter to the teacher instead of writing down the answers because obviously I didn’t know any of them.
So I just started writing non-senses, including that I wished I could copy on my neighbour but how I remembered he wasn’t the best either. How I would end up alone in a house with twelve cats, one for every Kights of the Zodiac.
It was just funny things running throught my mind at this moment. Then I gave that to the teacher at the end of the class as my test.
When she gave back our copies the next week, I had a surprise. She actually responded to my silly letter. She responded to everything I had written down, saying I was beeing mean to my neighbour with a “XD”, then that twelve cat was a good number because if I inclued a female Athena one, they would fight for her.
She was just beeing as silly as I was. Then at the end, she wrote.
“That was really fun to read! It gave me a nice break from all that work. But I don’t want you to give up at school, I saw what you did before, and I know you can do it. Don’t give up!”
At the end of the class she waited for me, then offered me a text book with a pretty picture as a cover. She said I should keep writing.
The next year. It was the hardest time of my school years. I still hadn’t found that who I was, I was switching my sexual orientation and identities every so often, and I was heartbroke by a very destructive love story. All of that eventually sent me to the hospital.
When I came back, nothing changed even if I thought it would. I began to skip classes, I lost almost all my friends, and I was beeing harrased by a crazy girl, among the usuall bullying.
I had stoped sleeping properly, I had lost weight, and that day, I really wasn’t feeling like passing that test. So I went to the nursery, hoping I could fake an illness.
The nurse gave me pills and food, I faked the fact that I swallowed the pills then she told me to go rest in the bed behind the room we were in.
The following days I tried again, and she always was allowing me to skip classes, with pills and food and a bed. I was taking advantage of her kindness, but at the same time, everything was so quiet, and peacefull, I was alone, I could listen to music and sleep. I felt safe.
Then one day, I came back again, telling the same things, but this time she sighted and told me:
“You can’t continue like this.”
I thought I was going to be kicked out.
“You can’t just came here and skip class. You have to talk to me now.”
But she just wanted to help me better.
And she did.
I continued to come to the nuresery, but this time, to talk with her. And eventually, I didn’t need to come back at all.
The rest of the years, each time we saw each other, we smiled and waved.
The last year of hight school, we had a new english teacher. I was in a Engineer class, so the level of our english lessons were very low. As I grew up with english songs and video games, I was bored. (nb: I’m french, english isn’t my native language)
I never listened in class, never participated, and I could clearly see that our teacher didn’t really like me or my attitude.
One day I was just scribbling on my book, not paying attention at all until the teacher called my name. I looked up, she was asking me to read a sentence written on the blackboard, apparently it was a phonetic lesson, and she saw that I was not paying attention and gave me that mean look, hopping that I would failed to teach me a lesson.
But I didn’t. As I pronounced the sentence right with a fluent accent (I surprised myself a little, I wouldn’t lie) she oppened her eyes wide and said with a smile:
“That was perfect!”
Then she moved on.
The next days she gave me a bunch of lessons she had prepared for her last year students from the Expand English class. Then I started having fun and learning things again.
At the end of the year, when final exams were done, she saw me arriving and quickly wen to me and asked what score I had at the english test. I told her I had 20/20.
She raised her fists in the sky and screamed a “YES!” of relief.
I often remember them. I was very lucky to have them all, and I know that.
When I hear students complaining about their teachers for free, saying that they all don’t care anyway, I silently got mad.
I saw teacher crying because of their students. I saw teacher beeing bullied.
You know kids, some of them are really here to help you and make you grow.