| School Daze |

School Daze: Sixth Grade       

She really believed me when I said I wouldn’t talk anymore. Since when do teachers believe you when you say that?


As told to Perel Stone

Sunday, October 28


ince the beginning of the school year, I’ve been sitting next to Ruti in the back row. She stopped pretending she doesn’t know me in school. It’s the first time I’ve had a real friend during school, and that makes school much more bearable. But today Mrs. Taub caught us talking and asked me to switch seats.

She put me in the front row next to Shaindy. Shaindy leans too close and touches you a lot when she talks to you. She laughs really loudly and spits while she talks. I sat next to her and gave her a huge smile. I know what it’s like when people are mean to you, and just because Shaindy does some things that annoy me isn’t a reason to make her feel bad.

But in just one period of sitting next to her, Shaindy put her arm around me four times and patted my leg so many times I probably got a bruise. There was no way I was going to be able to sit next to her for very long.

I waited until all the other girls left at the end of the day and went to Mrs. Taub’s desk. She put down her pen and looked at me like she was waiting to hear what I had to say. It sounds normal when I write it like that, but no other teacher has done it the way she did. When you go to speak to other teachers, it’s like they’re waiting for you to finish so they can go back to what they were doing, but something in the way Mrs. Taub was looking at me made me feel like she wanted to hear what I had to say.

“Um, it’s really hard for me to sit next to Shaindy. If I promise not to talk anymore during class, can I sit next to Ruti again?” I asked her.

“It’s hard for you? Let me think what we can do about it,” she said.

A lot of teachers say “we’ll see” and don’t do anything. Mrs. Taub looked like she cared so I hope she does something, because I don’t think I can keep sitting next to Shaindy.

Ayala invited me over today. Now that I’m more popular, she wants to be friends again. I already learned she’s not a good friend, but that doesn’t give me a right to hurt her feelings so I nicely told her I had other plans.

Monday, October 29

Mrs. Taub is different from any teacher I’ve ever had. After she took attendance this morning, she said she needed to change some seats. She asked three or four girls to switch places. Then she smiled at me, but in a way other girls wouldn’t notice.

Yesterday she’d moved Chaya into my seat next to Ruti.

“Chaya, you told me it’s hard for you to see in the back. Why don’t you come up front? Atara, do you mind switching with Chaya?” she said.

I couldn’t believe my ears! Mrs. Taub remembered that I wanted to switch! And took me seriously! And gave me my seat back! And was careful to do it in a way that wouldn’t hurt Shaindy’s feelings. (Chaya is good friends with Shaindy. I guess the things she does don’t bother Chaya.)

She really believed me when I said I wouldn’t talk anymore. Since when do teachers believe you when you say that? I’m going to make sure she doesn’t regret it! I think I’ve gotten sent out of the room for talking in class, at least a million times, but I’m not going to open my mouth even once in Mrs. Taub’s class.

I walked nonchalantly, like it wasn’t a big deal, back to my seat. That way no one would know the secret between me and Mrs. Taub.


(Originally featured in Mishpacha Jr., Issue 919)

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