the teacher that didn’t like me

second grade jillian

I had a second grade teacher named Ms. Mirana*. What I remember most about her was that she was a short, heavy-set woman with big eyes that bulged every time she scolded a student. Her voice was high-pitched and nasal and she wore long, pleated skirts, shiny nude tights and orthopedic shoes every day.

Oh, and one another thing. She didn’t like me. I have no proof of this and she never told me as much, but I felt it at the time and still believe it to this day.

One day, around Christmastime, we were making wreaths out of brown paper bags, ribbon and little accessories. Since Ms. Mirana was using a hot glue gun to stick the decorations on, she had each of us come up to her desk with our paper wreath. It was my turn to get my wreath glued and it just so happened that Chris, the class clown, made some kind of commotion behind me, which prompted me to look back quickly. Well…Ms. Mirana missed and got glue on her desk because, of course, I was the one who diverted her attention. So, naturally, I was the one who was responsible for her mistake. Her argument being that if I wouldn’t have looked back, she wouldn’t have been distracted. Never mind the kid who was jumping on his seat and and wearing his lunch on his head. “See what you made me do! I almost glued my own finger! You know better than to pay any attention to him!” As if that wasn’t enough, she instructed the class to sarcastically thank me. And so everyone, in unison, turned to me and shouted, “Thank you, Jillian!


At an after-school program, a group of us kids and Ms. Mirana were playing some game where everyone holds hands in a circle and whoever is chosen has to weave their way in and out of the circle until the singing stops (do we know what this game is called?). It was my turn to weave. I ducked under kids’ hands, in and out and in and out. Finally I stopped and looked up, stilll crouching on the ground. For a couple of seconds, I had no idea where I was. I was surrounded by a large sheet of pale pink flowers and…oh no…underwear! Old lady underwear! Bloomers! I was under Ms. Mirana’s pink flower dress. The wind was so strong that day and her long skirt was so wide and flowy that I somehow ended up underneath it without even realizing. “Get out of there!” she yelled, glaring at me as if I somehow planned it. I was mortified. And I never played that game again.

Ms. Mirana had a special reading group in her class called “The Reading Rainbow.” It was exclusively for the best readers in class and students who generally did well on Spelling and Langauge Arts tests, both of which I excelled at and yet I wasn’t a part of it. They would read and discuss stories in a small group in the middle of the classroom, while the rest of us did quiet penmanship practice at our desks. They would have such lively and interesting discussions! How I longed to be reading those same stories and be a part of their conversation. When I asked Ms. Mirana to be invited into The Reading Rainbow, she told me she wasn’t accepting any new students. SHUT. DOWN.

Several years later, I encountered her again after school (I stayed in the same parochial school from 1st to 8th grade). I was talking with a friend of mine about how I loved Buffy and Dawson’s Creek, but didn’t particularly care for 7th Heaven. If you don’t aready know 7th Heaven was a show about a Protestant minister and his family. Very wholesome, very Full House meets Degrassi. I told my friend, “I don’t really like 7th Heaven.” Ms. Mirana, who happened to be listening eavesdropping, yelled out, “Of course you don’t like 7th Heaven! Because it’s about good people and family values, that’s why!” Then she stormed off.

As an adult, I’ve learned to just laugh it off. It’s kinda’ funny! She was a grumpy old lady after all. But it’s certainly something that stands out in my mind, as these were the first few embarassing encounters I had as a kid that I can recall.

My question to you is: ever have a teacher that didn’t like you?

*Names have been changed to protect the guilty

14 responses to “the teacher that didn’t like me”

  1. ashley says:

    That is HORRIBLE. She shouldn’t have been a teacher, obviously! And Buffy was TOTALLY better than 7th Heaven. And now you got the theme song in my head (dang it!)

  2. Jillian, I had a 3rd grade teacher like that. I was an A honor student and no matter what I did she felt I should receive a B in all subjects. It got so bad, my mom had to get the principal involved and “jump in her ass”. I later found out it was because of my color. She was a dark skin African American and I was light. She was jealous of that! So silly and sad. Glad you didn’t have any more bad experiences.

  3. Teri says:

    I had a grade 12 substitute teacher tell me I was “never going to succeed at anything” because I turned around and talked to my friend during a boring lesson! He had no idea who I was, or how well I was doing in the class. I think I was so shocked that I actually laughed in his face which proceeded to upset him more! He went on for another half hour about how we all had to step it up if we wanted to go on to University and succeed. Well, it’s 9 years later and I have a University degree and college diploma! Take that Mr. Icantrememberyourname!! I feel your pain Jillian! Teachers can be really cruel! I’m just fortunate that I was old enough to realize this guy was nuts and had no idea what he was talking about. If I was any younger I would have cried for days!

    • Jillian says:

      That sub sounds like he got bitter and jaded over his years of teaching (possibly). I’m glad you were old enough to laugh at his ridiculousness! Imagine if you WERE younger though? How horrible would that have been? Sometimes, people are so clueless about the effect their words and actions can have on a child.

  4. Laura says:

    What a terrible teacher! I bet you learned some good lessons about life in that class though – you can’t be liked by everyone no matter how hard you try, and some people in life are just mean and cold for no reason. Poor little 2nd grade Jillian. I can’t imagine anyone not liking you!

  5. angela says:

    Sounds like this lady had some issues. We all do encounter teachers that forgets to be impartial, caring and kind. I am sure you were appreciated by all the other teachers and thank heavens time passes and it all becames part of the past.

  6. Lena says:

    What a miserable woman–there’s a part of me that believes that elementary school teachers should do their very best to be above that kind of petty behavior!

  7. Miya says:

    OMG. This brings back horrible memories about my 9th grade Homeroom & Algebra teacher. I went to an all girls, private, Catholic school and we had to wear uniforms. Plaid skirts and white shirts. Our skirts could not be more than an inch above out knees and you can imagine my extreme humiliation when the teacher in question took out her ruler to measure my skirt. Her RULER. Who does that? She also made my Algebraic experience a complete nightmare. I flunked the class and had to go to summer school… where I passed that class with over a 100%. Sounds fishy.. right? Thinking about her still makes my skin crawl.

    • Jillian says:

      Ooooh, I totally feel you on this one. We wore uniforms too and the skirts, OF COURSE, could not be over an inch above the knee. I rolled up my skirt anyway, lol. One of the nuns came over to me during lunch, in front of everyone, and started unrolling my skirt for me! Luckily, I never had any problems with teachers giving me unfair grades. That’s gotta’ be tough.

  8. colleen says:

    this is crazy! the worst was the first one – having the class mock you. i mean…that’s just insane. and her outburst about 7th heaven…bizarre. i don’t think i ever had a teacher who hated me but i wasn’t always the easiest student. i was the class clown so i was a bit endearing to my teachers but it still made me a little more work than the rest of the kids.

  9. Jamillah says:

    ew! harsh! but i totally had a kindergarten teacher that i swear was out for me!!! sister friggin pat!!!! grrrrrrrr. she was so mean to me and a super duper yeller. and i had a teacher also in high school that just hated me, she was my ap english teacher, i was talking to my friend in class and she actually threw an eraser at me, we also had a yelling match b/c she was bad mouthing Brett from The Sun Also Rises and I was defending her. my other english teacher (i was an english major in my h.s.) actually came in and interrupted class and saved me.

    also little jillian is so friggin cute!

  10. Alyssa says:

    There should be a time in every teacher’s careers where they step back and reflect on their behaviors and try and decide if how they are acting is appropriate to their students. (Especially the sarcasm to second graders!)

    In fifth grade I encountered a math teacher like that. I didn’t comprehend math as quickly as others, and she made it a point to publicly humiliate me instead of trying to help me. It didn’t help that out of all the disruptive students who were okay at math, she picked on the shy student who was terrible. I don’t completely blame my weakness in math on her, but that was a pivotal period in my life that I could’ve used the extra motivation instead of learning to hate the subject.

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