Dear Diary – Page 93

Meeting Philip* was a huge turning point for me. He was clearly concerned about my welfare, and we met on a weekly basis to discuss anything and everything that was giving me problems.

As many of you will no doubt understand, it makes an incredible difference to your own “view of life” if you are able to share the issues with someone who understands and cares. Philip understood my financial situation and paid for every coffee (and the odd beer) that we had during our meetings. He was a wonderful role model in that he gave me some of his most valuable possession (his time), and yet never asked for anything in return.

Life achieved a little more balance as we coped as best we could. Then we had a note from Simon’s school asking that we go in and talk with them as they were having issues with him! He was around 5 years old at that time!

A teacher explained that Simon was having difficulty with learning anything; did not pay attention, and was rather disruptive in class. They had tried reprimanding him but to no avail, and this had been going on for quite some time.

We were rather surprised because he had shown no signs of problems at home, and was quite well behaved in general. His speech could perhaps be improved, but that would come in due time. We eventually discovered that for all the frustrations apparently experienced by that teacher, and for all her efforts to bring him “into line” with her expectations, she had overlooked a very important factor. A hearing test determined that he was extremely bad on one side as a result of a collapsed tube in that ear.

As the doctor explained it to us, he would not have been able to hear clearly which would affect his learning ability. It would mean that he would lose interest very fast because he wouldn’t understand what was going on, which would explain any disruptive behavior. A tube was inserted which would force his own ear tube open, and the problems were resolved. The teacher was enlightened, but I do not recall any reaction on her part.

Throughout Simon’s school life he had an issue with authority, and I often wonder whether that incident gave him a poor perspective on schools and teachers in general. Do teachers of children in those early years realize just how much impact they have as they interact with them for so many hours a day? My conclusion is that in every profession, there are those who should seriously look for an alternative career, and teachers are no exception!

*See “Just a Man” – September 23, 2015

13 thoughts on “Dear Diary – Page 93

  1. (Lexi’s Mom here) With a precious son who wasn’t diagnosed as schizophrenic until he was about 13, I understand what you are saying. I knew early on something was wrong, but was called a bad mother for insisting something was wrong with him. All he got at school up to that time was punishment, until I finally told the principal if he ever hit my son again he would be named in a lawsuit against the school system. Yep, don’t get me started.

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  2. Colin, I do think teachers in a child’s developmental years are so fundamentally important to the child’s academic life later on … And unfortunately some teachers either don’t understand that or just don’t care. I’ve had many adult students who still “go back” and remember an incident from their youthful days that affected them deeply.

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      • Yes, that’s certainly true. I won’t even get into the “pay thing,” but if our society respected teachers as much as they do athletes and entertainers … Well, you know. 🙂

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        • Therein is the problem! (Did you have to get me started?) – We live in a culture that wants an amazing healthcare system; an effective public transit system; all sorts of rules and regulations to minimize any personal inconvenience; a police force to enforce everything ….. but it does not want to pay taxes! Sometimes I think that our education system should include some basic facts about how a country runs. As for teachers? It is sad that they are instrumental in molding our children to be good citizens, and yet are paid for rather less responsibility. Now let’s talk about frivolous, self indulgent spending; multi million dollar sports contracts; politically motivated investments ………. no ….. on second thoughts …. let’s not! 🙂

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          • Aha! I feel a “new post” coming on for you, Colin! LOL And I think you should share your thoughts — and I think many folks (like me) would agree with your position. Rail away, I say! Say what needs to be said! 🙂


  3. Yes, I agree! Like in every profession there are those who love what they do and there are others. But I am glad that you found out about the cause of the problem which at least solved his hearing issues.

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  4. Teachers oh my. I had nuns for the first 8 years. Some were good and some were truly worthless. I remember one nun who had to be in her 70s. She had no clue about timing and always ran over the time allotment on other subjects so we never studied civics, which was the class right before lunch. As a child I asked if there would be a final exam on a subject we never touched. The answer was a very angry “Yes.” It was the same with the last class of the day. I was so glad when I moved on. When I was young there wasn’t as much interest in guiding children in the areas where they excelled. It was so much more generic than today. BTW my step-son who is very bright, had some learning issues associated with hearing. Fortunately a great teacher picked up on it. He was tested and treated. Things like that can scar you for life!

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  5. It’s true…teachers really do make a lasting impact. I still remember clearly the grade school teachers who were an encouragement to me…and those who were the opposite. Their words and actions shaped me. And I agree…there are those in every profession who are obviously in the wrong profession…and physicians are no exception! 🙂

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