The Other Side of the Story - The "Sting" of the Bee
The "sting" of being misjudged can last for years, like in the story of...
The "Sting" of the Bee
I come from a family of picky eaters. When I was growing up, my mother knew what she was up against, and only served us "plain" sorts of food. We ate chicken, rice, potatoes and spaghetti, but the menus didn't get any more daring than that.
In sixth grade, I was a conscientious student, but one subject that I found a little bit difficult was Brachos (Blessings to be made before and after eating foods). I had never even heard of many of the foods in the little "Brachos booklet," and it made the studying a lot harder.
Instead of being able to apply the Brachos fundamentals when studying, I had to memorize the Brachos for the unfamiliar foods.
We used to have "Brachos Bees" (same idea as spelling bees) in school about once a week. I remember that at one "Brachos Bee" the teacher asked me the blessing for "shnitzel" (breaded, fried chicken cutlet). I wasn't familiar with this food, and my memory had failed me. I thought maybe it was some kind of fruit dessert, so I guessed "Ha'eitz." The teacher got very angry, and said "I am going to give you a zero on your report card, because I can tell that you're not even trying." I remember feeling very hurt and confused. Now, many years later, when I recall the incident, I understand why the teacher reacted this way: She would have accepted an educated guess, but my answer was so far off it seemed like a "cop out." Her mistake was that she assumed I knew what shnitzel was.
Now, as a teacher myself, this has taught me an important lesson. A teacher has to be very careful to give her students the benefit of the doubt. Because you never know...falsely accusing your student may just be the only thing she'll remember years later.
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