We’ve all had at least one, that teacher that made a career of belittling their students in front of the class. We were kids. We were taught to obey authority. So we didn’t fight back.
Then there was Eugene.
Every day, for no reason at all, Mr Savage, a dark-haired short little man with a great big fat ego, punched Eugene on the shoulder. Maybe he didn’t like the way he sat in his chair or that he wore glasses or had curly hair and a Robert Mitchum dimple in his chin. Maybe he didn’t like that Eugene was bigger and smarter and better looking than he was. Or maybe it’s just that Mr Savage had to live up to his name by terrorizing his seventh-grade students.
One day, Mr Savage was extra mean. I don’t know what Eugene did, but Mr Savage marched over to his desk and plowed his fist into Eugene’s shoulder nearly knocking him out of his chair.
Suddenly, as if waking a sleeping lion, Eugene jumped up, shook his fist in Mr Savage’s face and snarled, “Now, hit me again!”
And sitting dumbfounded across from him, my insides were yelling, “Yeah! And that goes for me too!”
He must have heard me because Mr Savage laid off Eugene and started bullying me.
Every day Mr Savage singled me out, asking me questions hoping I’d give the wrong answer so that he and everyone else could roll with laughter. And every day I just sat there clenching my jaw and shooting green-eyed daggers through his heart.
My you-can’t-make-me stubbornness didn’t sit well with him. So one day while the students and teachers were lined up to go to their classrooms, Mr Savage marched over to me and snarled sarcastically, “What’s the matter with your mother? Is she an invalid or something?”
Dumbstruck and wondering what the heck invalid meant, I blurted, “Yes sir, she’s in a wheelchair.”
Suddenly, as if I’d punched him in the nose he spun around, tucked his tail between his legs and practically ran into the classroom and slammed the door behind him before I could explain.
I didn’t know Mr Savage had written my parents requesting a conference with them because I was failing Social Studies. It wasn’t until much later I discovered that daddy wrote back telling him about mom’s back injury and that if he wanted to talk to them he’d have to come to the house.
God was my hero that day. He grabbed the savage beast by the horns and gave him a swift kick in the butt. And from that day forth, Mr Savage never ever bothered me again.
Yes, I failed Social Studies. But Mr Savage just plain failed. He failed at teaching. He failed at having compassion and wisdom and understanding. Rather than building us up and helping us learn he beat us down to the ground. So I give him and every teacher like him a big fat F!
“Whoever digs a hole and scoops it out falls into the pit they have made. The trouble they cause recoils on them; their violence comes down on their own heads.” Psalm 7:15,16 NIV