Today, I had a big misunderstanding at work.
Today, a student left my classroom because I wouldn't let him use his cell phone. But it was more than that. Throwing his cell phone across the room. He left in a huff.
He went to the principal and told him that I was being cruel and mistreating the student. The principal came and pulled me out of the AP English class that I was trying desperately to understand some Old English version of Chaucer that seemed important at the time.
I left the classroom. Went into the hall. The principal allowed the student to vent. The student sat there for five minutes and called me every name in the book. He went on and on. I had no idea what to say. I had no idea what I had done to offend this kid. The principal didn't stop him, which, to me, seemed a little out of control.
After his rant he walked away to cool down. I went back into my class and tried to teach...the whole time wondering if I have chosen the wrong profession. After the class left, I called this boy's mother. We talked a long time.
She told me that he said I was mocking him and making fun of him.
I was baffled. I said, "But, Mrs. Student, I have only ever said one thing to your child in the few days I've had him in class. I told him he had one of the best memories for vocabulary that I have ever seen. I told him he was a VOCABULARY GENIUS."
"Yes, and he came home and told me that you made fun of him for being awful at vocabulary. He thought you were making fun of his lack of skills."
"I'm so confused."
"Well, the thing is, I just got him back from his father a few months ago. His father wasn't real good to him, you know. He sorta beat on him and left him to fend for himself lots of the time. And, well, I think he sorta thought you were pickin' on him cause he's never done real well in school. He's like, never really had no real compliments. So, I think he must of thought you were makin' fun of him."
"Oh." I said.