I’m angry. I’m unbelievably, bloody angry! And I’m getting angrier by the minute. I JUST started Romeo and Juliet yesterday; we read the first half of Act I, Scene 1, and my principal has already gotten 2 phone calls this morning from parents about the translation in the No Fear Shakespeare book. Did I not tell them that this is the version the kids would be reading? Did I not suggest that you look at the book beforehand? I know life is busy. God, don’t I know it? I didn’t write the book. I bought it two years ago with administrative approval! I bought it to HELP YOUR CHILD BETTER UNDERSTAND SHAKESPEARE! The man was not a saint! He was a human and a writer who knew his audience. His jokes are dirty! And now you want me to CENSOR Shakespeare? Really?!
And I don’t just feel angry. I feel GUILTY! I feel like I should have foreseen this and cut it off somehow. And I probably should have. I should have remembered that some of my kids are intensely sheltered, like I was, and that this might have embarrassed them to read and talk about in class. I should have known they’d report it to their parents. I should have given parents another heads up on the book before we started yesterday. I should have done better!
How can I make it right? How can I fix this? I feel awful. I feel like running into the stairwell and crying and hiding for the rest of the day. I’m embarrassed; I’m humiliated; I feel like a horrible teacher; I’m angry! But you know what? Here’s what I’m going to do.
When my advanced classes get here, I’m going to sit them down and talk to them. I’ll tell them that I’ve been made aware of some concerns and disapprovals, and that, in my excitement to get started with the play, I failed to take all of their feelings into account. I will express my regret, apologize to my students, and ask them to forgive me, and I will tell them that I will figure out a way to balance and make it right. I will be honest with them that I am upset and angry, but that I am not so at them. I am angry and upset with myself for it all and for possibly embarrassing anyone or setting anyone at odds with their families.
It’s all I can do.
So that’s what I will do.
I’ll cry about it later.