And just like that......my self-confidence, self-esteem, and hard work was ripped from under me.
As a special education teacher one of my responsibilities is to assist in making the transition from elementary to middle school. It is always a difficult time, I'm letting my "babies" go off to the big new school. So this year I scheduled a meeting with the middle school to discuss the transition and programs for my students. So far so good.....I had no problems with any speech or understanding since it was in a closed room with only two people. Then the LEA came into the meeting to discuss a student. She asked the name of two of my students who are Hispanic. I told her. She looked at me and said - are you sure?
yes....She said say it again...I did....She said it is a L not a T......heartbeating....voice cracking....she questioned me again.....this time I said that is what she answers to when I call her.....heatbreaking....heart hurts.....Took everything I could to just pick myself up and leave the room.....failure......
I have known the LEA for years and I know she does not know I am deaf or had cochlear implant surgery. I know that she did not mean it that way, but my heart felt all my hard work just slip away. I felt less then a teacher at that moment, no less than a person. All my life I have dealt with people like that. Everyone has there horror stories of discrimination. It is not the discrimination, but how we deal with it.
I made a few mistakes in life in dealing with situations like this before. I cried...I argued...I bullied....I filed lawsuits(that is a good thing).....But in the end, did I make myself a stronger person? No....but this time...I will.
I'm done crying, heartbreaking, and allowing others to make me feel belittled. I am taking back my life, I am taking back my pronunciation of words and my heart....I am going to go over to the school at the next meeting and talk to her in private and let her know how it made me feel. I don't need an audience or an argument, I just need to let this person know I'm deaf and the questioning was inappropriate. I don't want an apology. I just want her to know that it was inappropriate and STOP IT.... then walk away.
What do you think? I am open to suggestions that require dealing with this one on one. Also tell me how you handled any situation in the past.