All that you have is your soul (Tracy Chapman).

Thursday, 23 February 2006

The Jew Teacher.

It can't be that often that a teacher discovers his nickname. I would of course expect it to be a childish play on my surname or suchlike.

I wish it were that simple.

No, my nickname appears to be "The Jew Teacher". How do I know this? Because I've heard numerous kids referring to me in this derogatory fashion - in the belief that I was out of earshot.
I know I'm the "Jew Teacher" because I'm one of only two in the school and the other one isn't really teaching.

Am I offended? Slightly.

Surprised? No.

I would however be surprised if the ignoramouses who called me this moniker actually bothered to call me the Jewish teacher. Then again, one can't expect racist kids to bother too much about grammar. So there you are. I work my arse off to give these little ***** an education and my only recognition I get is to be called the JEW teacher.

When I went to school, we had plenty of teachers who were not of the faith. We also had nicknames for them, some which were quite rude, but I cannot recall any Gentile being referred to as "The Goy Teacher"? It just wouldn't occur to us to be so derogatory. They were simply a "non-Jewish teacher". Never a "Goy".

Yesterday, one kid in my class asked this question to another: "where is his Jew hat" (referring to my skullcap). Without a beat, I replied: "on his Jew head". The kid was taken aback as he
a) didn't expect me to hear this and
b) certainly didn't expect an answer from that "Jew".

I sometimes wonder if I'm teaching these kids anything - not least respect for someone who doesn't share their same religious beliefs. The fact that these children will leave school with their blinkered views probably still intact does nothing to reassure me that my presence in the school means no more to them than a computing lesson which takes up seventy minutes of their week.

Teaching should be more than that.

2 comments:

Tense Teacher said...

Oh, boy, can I relate. My first year of teaching, I learned that I was "the nympho." No, I didn't sleep with any of my students, but I was 23 years old, newly married, and the students had to pass by my house in order to get to school. Rumor was that they could see into our windows as they passed, and my husband and I were always "going at it." Ri-i-i-i-ight.
Now, I'm the city-slicker, liberal teacher who attempts to introduce ideas and cultures foreign to the caucasian, Protestant rednecks I teach on a daily basis. I actually had a parent once tell me that I should go teach in public school if I liked ni**ers so much.
All I (and you) can hope is to get through to one or two each year; if you do that, it's worth it.
Hang in there.

As always... Rachael said...

au contraire... you're teaching far more than you (or they) realize! Not acting offended... perfect! Overhearing what isn't meant to be heard... classic!

You're a new teacher... nothing these dumbasses come up with is going to stick. Your youngest students are the ones who will define your nickname...

Just dont devour your food or grab any asses... that will earn you "hungry like the wolf" or "big bad wolf"!

I'll nickname you: "The Rattler." Ignore the gentlemanly warning, and you're poised to get poisoned. Suck on that, you little ingrates!