Entry #4 Christian Teacher in First Nations Schools~ Journey Toward Forgiveness
"Saving Face" Entry #4 ~
After 12 years of service as an educator in FN communities I came face to face with the fact that I was still a stranger and probably always would be unless i were to have a major shift in attitude. Now, how THAT was going to happen, I didn't know.
I typed out all the true stories of what happened but I only ended up re-living the anger. I wasn't sure if re-hashing the stories would really help to communicate the unmistakable, yet unidentifiable burden pressing on my heart.
How would writing it, so that others could know it was happening, help? Who was going to be my audience?
How would I present the realities I faced almost daily which were so bewildering to me without being perceived as demonizing an entire culture. At the time, I couldn't help feeling frustrated with a history that I personally had no part in, but would constantly ENCROACH upon the business of "educating".
Here's a "fer instance":
It was the second year of experience teaching in a small remote Northern FN community. I had just been hauled into the Principal's Office after one of my FN colleagues complained that i wasn't doing yard duty.
"Well, she said you weren't out there."
I sat there and could feel my blood pressure go up. After explaining to my Principal and good friend, J.W., my side of the story (why was I even explaining myself other than the fact that this was the umpteenth time he was being accused of favouritism toward me?) I leapt out of my chair.
"Well she wouldn't have SEEN me out there around the corner of the school supervising the kids off the bus if she merely peeked out her window, now would she!!!!"
"Rondi, DO NOT go over there."
"it's okay, J.W! I'll just clear it up."
Although he strongly cautioned me, I could hardly hear him. I didn't see the vendetta. He did. I ignored him, was out the door in an instant on my way to her home, stubbornly and naively charging headlong into disaster.
Lesson #1 You cannot reason with perception, especially on its own turf.