A Terrible Thing Happened Today

Today, at work, I witnessed a Mother beat her very young child.

I’m not completely wrapped in cotton wool. I’ve seen and heard moments where someone has inflicted pain on another person – in my own life, TV, stories etc.

I was teaching a class online at home with a very little young girl, not much older than 3 or 4 years old. She was incredibly shy and quiet and would not speak to me. I smiled, I was friendly and used my chimp puppet colleague to make her feel welcome and happy.

Often with young children in my classes, their parent will assist them. Sometimes helpful, sometimes not so helpful. This Mother was off camera and aggressively speaking to her daughter. I don’t speak Chinese but I got the jist of what she was saying. Telling her to speak to me.

The Mother then tried to pop out the room, but the little girl, who was really scared to be left alone with me lurched forward to her Mother pleading with her to let her go with her.

The mother shoved the girl back on to the her, the girl tired again and began to cry. Her tiny face crunched up in fear and upset. Her Mum kept throwing her back down and then proceeded to hit her over and over and over again.

I immediately left the classroom and just burst into tears. That hit me like a tonne of bricks and I was completely helpless. I had no way of helping the little girl.

Unfortunately this is not uncommon in my job. This is the first time I witnesses it as severe as this. But many teachers have horror stories of parents beating their child on camera if they didn’t get the answers right.

But just because it is common does not make it okay. The company I work for is shameful when it comes to safeguarding it’s children. It puts such an emphasis on the teachers’ qualifications but it has nothing in place to look after it’s students. When these incidents are reported nothing is done about it.

It hit me so hard because it was somewhat triggering to my past. I also have a niece around the same age and I can’t imagine anything of the sort happening to her. This is not what I signed up for as a teacher.

This was a little vent post, I’ve been wandering around the house in a bit of a daze with the little girls sad face on the forefront of my mind.

Photo by Matt Collamer on Unsplash