Why Does It Bother Me So?

I sit around at work and I see the kids running around.  It really bothers me that I can’t remember being a kid.  I know there are reasons for my lack of memory of childhood.  But the lack of memory bothers me. I remember the names of all of my elementary school teachers, but I don’t remember much about going to school.

In a way, I feel like I don’t understand my students.  I don’t understand what it means to be a kid.  I don’t understand how it’s so hard for them to sit still.  Maybe understand isn’t the right word.  I do understand on an intellectual level why kids are kids and why they behave the way they do.  But I can’t seem to apply it on a personal level.  I just don’t remember.

It’s frustrating.  I think it keeps me from being the best teacher I can be.  And of course, I’m such a perfectionist, that bothers me all the more.

Does this make me a bad person?  I keep coming back to this question.  It’s a dumb question.  I know intellectually that I’m not a bad person.  I haven’t killed anyone, although I have one or two students that are getting close.  I don’t try to hurt people on purpose.  But it was so ingrained in me that I am a horrible person that it’s hard for me to see that I’m not.

Part of me hurts really bad.  I wish I could understand childhood on more than an intellectual level.  I wish I could understand the emotional part of it.  I wish I could understand the freedom.  I wish I could understand the trust.  I feel like I’ve lost so much.  I wonder who I would be today if I had a different past.

I should be grateful I’m alive.  Many children in my circumstances don’t get out alive.  All in all, my mind is fairly intact.  I can function in society, for the most part.  I have my quirks, but then again, so do most people.


Another rambling, incomprehensible post…

4 thoughts on “Why Does It Bother Me So?

  1. Hi, {{{kat}}} – I think the fact you’re so acutely aware of not remembering what it was like to be a child is supremely positive in this respect: Your litany of “I wish” serves your students well. Too many teachers, I fear, don’t give this a thought and wish for the end of the day, for payday, whatever.

    I think you’re fine just as you are, quirks (to use your word) and all. And don’t we all have them?

  2. I remember a lot from childhood, but it doesn’t make me any more emotionally able to accept childish behavior for what it is — like you, intellectually I understand why kids are the way they are, and intellectually I choose to work for compassion and respect towards them, but it’s still annoying. My most frequent criticism in my work with kids has been “Marcy has unrealistic expectations and is not as adaptable / flexible as she should be.”

    I don’t intend to minimize the horrors you’ve been through or your sense of loss over childhood memory — but to reassure you that you’re not at all alone in not always having perfect empathy, and you can still be (and you are) a wonderful teacher.

  3. Everything we learned about ourselves was based on what they as adults told us. Here we are adults now and though we can’t remember who we were back then we can still hear who they said we were. It is a complexity that baffles the brightest minds.

    The rest of my long winded response is here.


  4. I seemed to have stumbled upon this blog and with some interest too. I’ve read your background on your about me section which frankly stunned me! (in a good way).

    You know, I can understand what you mean when you say you wish you could personally remember the experiences of your childhood so you can better relate to your students. However, from what I’ve read in your about me section, I wouldn’t be surprised if the experiences you went through at such a young age is responsible for subconsciously shutting out those memories as you grew older.

    The important thing here to focus on however, is the fact that you still have this passion to be there for those kids. How do you have this passion after all these facts that lay before you about yourself? Maybe its because the very experiences that shut out your memories of childhood are also responsible for inspiring you to give these kids a better childhood than you seemed to have had. And its that motivation that counts above all other things. It shows that your heart has evolved beyond your past, and that you are existing in the now, knowing what is important for what you do. Afterall, who you are defines what you do, no?

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