Regret, according to Google, is a feeling of sadness, repentance, or disappointment over an occurrence or something that one has done or failed to do.
The Holy Bible says that man’s anger does not work for the righteousness of God. In other words, man’s best intentions and zeal, his passion and annoyance over what he believes to be correct does not follow what God has in mind. His best intentions, before a perfect God, may only land him in trouble.
I made a mistake recently, which further engraved this Bible verse in my mind and I believe will certainly help me to be calmer, patient and understanding in the future.
The Experience I Regret:
I am a subject teacher in a Secondary school. I was in a class, trying to keep the students calm before the next subject teacher arrived. The cane in my hand was intimidating enough and coupled with the stern tone of my voice and the no-nonsense look on my face, I expected students to obey the words as soon as they left my mouth.
I was, not surprisingly, amazed when a female student gave a cough that I believed to be belittling; I was going to let it pass until a few students began to snicker. I should inform you that I was a new teacher, only a few months in the school, so my feeling of belonging and self-worth was still being worked on.
This situation didn’t help and I felt slighted by the students, I felt mocked and the innate nature of striking back occurred to me; I quelled it and continued my warning for silence when this same student made another sound which got the class in a roar of laughter.
That was it, I thought to myself, I wasn’t going to take such insubordination lying down. I called her out, fully intending to send her to the staffroom where I could deal with her properly, but she began to act deaf. This incensed me further and I walked to her seat. I was itching to use the cane but I remembered that the principal had warned several times not to use the cane on any student. Light punishment could be given, and only for a little while but nothing other than that.
I’d hoped that my approach would strike propriety into her, if not fear but I was disappointed. When I did reach her side, I asked her who she took herself for, and insisted she stand up; she did, but didn’t respond.
Before I could think it through, my hand had reached out and I’d delivered a back-handed slap. She flinched. I flinched. The class flinched and fell silent.
In that split second before I could collect myself, someone whispered “Principal’s daughter!”. I wanted to enter the ground. Of all people to have had an encounter with! I’d no idea the girl was so connected and my heart beat increased. Shock riddled my body but I wasn’t going to let them see. I asked instead if it was then an avenue for her to be rude to teachers, being the principal’s daughter.
To cover up properly, I gave a short speech on being respectful. All the while, the girl was holding on to her cheek and was looking down. I felt I’d won the victory and walked out. I hadn’t gone more than a few steps when the class erupted in shouts.
Thinking I was being ridiculed again, I walked back in and saw the said student on the floor with her mates rallying around her. She had fainted. I wanted to die. That was when her friends felt it necessary to mention that she was sick. My heart turned to ice in fear and I quickly bent to carry her.
To cut the story short, she was revived in the school sick bay and was able to walk home by the end of the day. While she was in the bay, a little meeting was held, with my misconduct as the agendum.
It would have been unnecessary, as I’d learnt my lesson on being calmer. Of course, I felt I was in the right and was only trying to teach a lesson to an erring student but the fear of the consequences had me sober for a week.
I’m still sober.
Now, it is not that I am sorry for having tried to correct her. I was sorry that I’d felt the need to defend myself in that violent manner. The self-respect I’d hoped to build had been destroyed in only a few seconds of anger. I couldn’t wait for the authorities to defend me, as I heard later that the principal would have been the right person to punish her. (I wonder what sort of punishment he would have given though, being her father. But I suppose it would have been better than me, a newbie, fighting for myself.)
What I plan to do:
I decided that I simply needed to pray more and watch myself, to avoid such problems in the future.
There, you’ve read my experience. Have you ever being in a situation you regretted? How did you handle it?