This Actually Hurt My Feelings


This may come as a surprise to many of you, but people used to actually let me teach their children. That’s right, I had a brief but colorful stint as a kindergarten teacher. It was a complete and utter blast. I loved my students so much and they never failed to make me laugh- kids are hilarious and hilariously honest.

One student in particular sticks out in my mind as being hysterically funny, unintentionally of course. His name was Christopher and he had the cutest blonde bowl cut I’ve ever seen. When we would play basketball at recess, he would sing a song to pump himself up before taking a shot. I think it was from High School Musical. It was so awesome because it didn’t matter whether or not he actually sunk a basket, he would just keep on singing “Get ya head in the game, you gotta gotta get ya head in the game.” while he shifted from foot to foot in a dance-like movement. Needless to say, I let them play basketball as often as they liked because this was such a joy to watch. Christopher kind of lived in his own little world and I quite admired him for that, it didn’t matter that one of his classmates once looked at me and said “That kid is crazy!” Christopher just kept right on living in his dreamworld.

Christopher loved any type of superhero or fantasy hero books and movies and he could frequently be seen throwing his hand down in a spiderman like movement as if he was trying to shoot webs out of his wrist in order to grab whatever it was across the room he wanted. It never worked, but he did it so earnestly, I almost thought he would be able to do it one day. Christopher was also a little possessive. Possessive of his toys, his schoolwork, and even me. When he was paying attention, which wasn’t often, he would get very jealous if I was paying a little extra attention to another student. Unfortunately, this sometimes resulted in Christopher throwing a fit or acting out in another way. Usually, I was able to calm him down quickly and one “I don’t think so” look from me would chill him out. There was one instance though where he was livid at me for letting another student pick out the reading time book. I don’t know what it was about that that set him off, especially since I always let the kids rotate who choose the book and it was the other students turn, but Christopher was not having it that day. He threw such a tantrum I had to put him in the time-out corner. As I walked him over to the time-out chair, he turned around looked me straight in the eyes and screamed “Avada Kedavra!”

For those of you who aren’t Harry Potter nerds like myself, “avada kedavra” is the incantation of the killing curse used in the books. There is no counter-spell to this curse and it instantly kills. So, when Christopher yelled this at me, I was stunned. I’m sure he didn’t realize that I knew all about Harry Potter and had read the books about a million times and he probably thought he had a secret way of expressing his anger. Not so. I knew exactly what he was trying to do. Honest to goodness, of all the things he could have yelled at me, that hurt my feelings the worst. Seriously. I know it sounds ridiculous, but knowing he was so mad at me that he would cast a killing curse right at me without any warning really hurt. Especially because he and I had such a good teacher-student relationship up to that point. For a second, it really felt as if he had cast the curse, that’s how stunned I was.

I regained my sense pretty quickly though and knelt down so he could look at me in the face and see how serious I was. “Christopher.”, I said, “Do you know what that spell means?” “Yes, I do. Voldemort used it on Harry.”, he responded. “Ok, well then you know how very serious and hurtful what you said was.”, I told him. Tears welled up in his eyes and he said, “I’m so sorry! I don’t want you to die!.” Of course, I knew what he said wouldn’t actually kill me, but it seemed like he thought I might fall over dead at any moment and it would be all his fault. I accepted his apology, reassured him that I wasn’t going to die, and went about my day. Such is the life of a teacher, but I honestly will never forget how much those words hurt in that moment. And I will never stop feeling absurd that a fictional curse from Harry Potter hurt my feelings. But it did.

What about you guys? Has something silly ever hurt your feelings?

38 thoughts on “This Actually Hurt My Feelings

  1. Very glad you talked to him at his level and let him know how you felt, and the hurt he applied at the time, sounds like a smart kid who really didn’t mean to hurt your feelings. So cute, and yeah they definatley do need more teachers like yourself these days, ppl who understand and tolerate uniqueness and disorders, eg, Asperger, ADHD, ect.. Patience is always the key and a lil understanding.
    Good Job, Cheers LJ

  2. I imagine Christopher to grow up to be the next Napolean Dynamite or similar to him.

    Thanks for teaching me how to really curse someone. I normally just say I curse you while giving them the evil eye. But now I know better.

  3. aaaawwww that kid is really cute! haha I never thought that a kid would actually say a killing curse because he got so mad…he’s smart also he knew the meaning of those words…obviously he didn’t mean it, such a sweet kid for apologizing as well…

  4. lifepostchennai says:

    I used to teach during my College days..don’t few experiences dampen your spirits girl.Keep up the great work of teaching and spending great time with kids.

  5. When I was modeling, I had just returned from a week-long trip for Bride’s Magazine. I arrived at their offices to look at slides from the shoot, and was devastated to see a post-it note on the light box from the editor, “Don’t EVER shoot her in profile again; hate that nose!” I’m sure she never gave that brief note another thought, but it’s stayed with me 30 years later. Words have much greater impact on the receiver than on the speaker, I’m sure.

    1. Brutal! That would have broken my heart a little bit I think. You’re so right, most people never think twice about the things they say but the person hearing them almost always takes them to heart.

  6. I used to teach preschool, and there was a two-year old boy who was playing in a fenced-in playground beside where I had my class. For absolutely no reason, he called me a b*tch. I didn’t even know the kid, but it made me WANT to be one! Another time, a three-year old girl asked me if I was pregnant, and I wanted to crawl in a hole and die. Aren’t children such a blessing!

  7. Ouch! 😦 As a Harry Potter Fan, and as I was a High School librarian for a little while, I completely 100% understand the effect that would have had on you! For such tiny little beings, kids can say such Jerky things! although Christopher sounds like one of those wonderful souls that makes it worth it 🙂

  8. GG says:

    Thanks for making me realize how crucial our words are even it may be from a novel or movie. I find myself quite similar to Christopher and I may done such things… Thanks again…

  9. Ha. I’ve had little kids do those sorts of things to me as well. It’s funny and a little sad at once.
    I had a great kid approach me one day and just flat out ask, “Why are your teeth yellow? Don’t you brush them?” WHA’?! My teeth were/are the exact right color for REAL teeth. You know – the way teeth used to look before bleaching came along. still it kind of hurt my feelers… *sniff*

    1. That kid sounds like a jerk. 😉 I had another kid once ask me if I was pregnant, which I wasn’t, I think I really confused him when I fell the the ground in the fetal position sobbing. (That’s a joke, lest anyone think I ruined this kids life)

    1. Your point is well taken. I’m so lucky he didn’t have a wand or I would be dead, dead, dead right now. From this point on, I support the Ministry’s rules on underage magic.

  10. I am so sorry you were hurt by that, kids are percious and are not aware of how words can really hurt. I know i have been hurt like that, when my little boy came up to me and said “mommy me and my sister don’t like you because we want to play and you won’t let us”. I replied that he doesn’t always have to like me but I almost cried when he left!

  11. Please don’t feel absurd!! It may be a fictional curse, but the moment was real. He was just acting out his anger and that’s what popped out of his mouth first – as you know – but what we feel as adults has so much more depth. His “curse you, woman” was to an adult the “I hate you” many of us eventually get from a child we care about. And it does hurt, no matter that we realize it’s temporary. None of us like to hear it.

    Plenty of silly things have hurt my feelings, too many to list. But I do remember the first time my first nephew was that angry with me – it just killed me. I wanted to be the best, most loved aunt ever, the ultimate perfect in his eyes. Not happening, and I’m okay with that – now.

  12. thats so funny, i think my feelings would have been hurt too! i remember my ex boyfriends three year old nephew telling me he didnt like me, i tried not to take it personally but i was a little upset, from a three year old!

  13. D'Alta says:

    I am sorry that you no longer teach kindergarten students!! All Christophers and their classmates need teachers who cherish their uniqueness, who value their honesty and their humor, who let them play basketball because of the joy it gives them and you, who know how to give the “I don’t think so” look, and who know how to respond to their curses, real and fictional! I and my students were very fortunate. I spent my teaching career with a whole building full of teachers and their helpers who loved what children bring to our world.

    1. I did love teaching and sometimes I miss it, but I still mentor in schools so I pretty much get all the fun of a teacher but none of the frustrations. 🙂 It sounds like you were a wonderful teacher though, and super lucky to be surrounded by other wonderful teachers!

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