My name is Frieda and I am hearing impaired. Here, you will find stories of my life growing up and what it is like for me to be a wife, a mom of two boys, and hearing impaired.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A Teacher's Apology

In high school, seniors were given the opportunity to be a TA (teacher's assistant) for class credit.  It was considered an "easy A," and it sounded like something that would be fun to do.  I was a librarian assistant in 7th grade, so how hard could it be?

I asked one of my favorite English teachers if I could be her assistant, and was thrilled when she said, "yes," and signed my new class schedule.  I don't remember much of my duties, other than correcting papers and filing.  There was a common area next to all of the English classes and I would pull in a desk to correct papers in that area.

As I came into my English class one day, my teacher pulled me aside to speak to me privately.  She seemed quite embarrassed, but continued to say, "I need to apologize to you."

Apologize for what? I responded, genuinely puzzled. 

"Remember when I spoke to you earlier today?"

My mind flashed back to my TA period ~ I was sitting at a desk, grading papers.  My English teacher had come up to me and asked me a question about something.

Yeah, I do.

"Well, before I came up to you, I called out your name a few times and said, 'Are you deaf or what?'  I am so sorry for saying that to you."

To be honest, I didn't hear you say that. 

She breathed a sigh of relief.  "I forget that you can't hear.  You look like every other student and I need to remind myself..."

Thank you.  I appreciate that.  

Her sincere apology made me love her even more.  She was more than just a teacher, she was a human being, with feelings....

Our conversation got me thinking.  How many times have I not heard something that was meant to be hurtful?  A rude comment.  Name calling.  

How many times have I been spared, just because I didn't hear it? 

I consider myself pretty lucky.