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TALKING OUT OF TURN: Philly Teacher Rants In Blog

We all need to vent – right, MAMAS?  Well, a suburban high school English teacher has been suspended with pay after her blog was discovered to contain negative comments about her students.  Natalie Munroe is fighting for her job and claiming that her “harmless” blog, which did not name any students, was meant to start a conversation about the fact that students are unwilling to work hard at school.  So, when she called them “disengaged, lazy, whiners” (among other juicy things) she is unapologetic.  Many are calling her blog irresponsible and unethical.  Schools, including Munroe’s own, have not really developed protocol or rules governing teacher’s online behavior.  Guess it’s time to figure some of those things out?!

We are supposed to “think before we speak,” or in this case, blog!  MAMAs expect teachers to be modeling good behavior, like self control, to our kids.  We get it, kids are tough and they test our patience.   Hanging out with kids all day is a teacher’s job, just like it’s a MAMAs job, and some days the job stinks.  Sometimes we vent to friends about the bad days, but we try not to take it out on the kids.  We’re not always perfect, but when we screw up, we cop to it and we say sorry.  Not necessarily for the way we feel, but for what we say or how we say it.  We need to be constructive because our kids are learning from us.  This teacher, instead of elevating the conversation to an adult level, went “tweener” on her blog and started calling kids name.  Yuck!

By the way, Mrs. Munroe, kids don’t allow themselves to be lazy, unmotivated, rude, bratty, bad students….we do that.  Parents and, yes – teachers, too.  Teachers spend the most time with our kids during the day, so demeaning and disrespecting them, and their parents, through a blog…instead of figuring out how to solve the problems by working together to benefit them, motivate them and empower them to do better and be better…means YOU are a disengaged, lazy, whiner, too!  

10 Responses to TALKING OUT OF TURN: Philly Teacher Rants In Blog

  1. Anonymous February 16, 2011 at 2:43 pm #
    Opinionated MAMA

    if anyone takes time to read this i found it very interesting that this individual felt it was a teachers job to "to give students the motivation to learn." As a full time parent I feel it might be my job to do this not our teachers… in fact I think it comes with the baby handbook that you should teach your children to be motivated to learn and to take advantage of a "free public education"(in my case)so as to be a productive member of society… maybe I'm wrong… but I think 90% of what this teacher said is right! ans i have to defend her right to say it as long as she didn't mention names… Teachers these days have it tough… definitely not paid enough and parents are not doing enough at home … stop trying to be your childrens friends and be parents instead!

    • momof3 February 17, 2011 at 9:00 am #
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      I think it's my job to set the groundwork for learning and set expectations at home, but when my kids leave my house from 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m. they are in the hands of teachers who have a HUGE influence on them for 7 hours. And, YES, they are supposed to be inspiring them and motivating them to learn the material they are teaching. That is what a teacher does…I had those teachers growing up and my children have them now. I know that I am my child's first teacher, and most important teacher, but anyone else who is tasked with teaching my child has a responsibility to lead by example. Teachers and parents should be partners in learning, so maybe the problem is that too many parents aren't doing their job and so teachers feel they can't do theirs…so, how do we fix that? It sounds like the problem is between the grown ups.

    • michelleo-mama February 17, 2011 at 9:14 am #
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      This is EXACTLY the conversation we hoped would spark…so, our kids are out of control. Why? We know why, kinda. Parents aren't doing their jobs well enough…and our kids don't have strong enough boundaries. Think about when we were kids…if we sassed a teacher, our parents took the side of the teacher. Every time. So, the dynamic has changed. Parents are enabling their children's behavior. So, how do we switch it around?

  2. Anonymous February 16, 2011 at 2:46 pm #
    Opinionated MAMA

    I said this when I first heard about the blog, As teachers we may all think these things and say them in the confines of the teachers' lounge, but they are iappropriate on a public blog.
    I have to agree with her comments, but she shouldn't have posted them online. That's what a personal hardcopy journal is for. Vent, feel the catharsis and then figure out a way for you to get your students to motivate themselves. You can't motivate by force and that is, unfortunately, what some students need. Parents must partner with the teachers when their children fail classes, have rude behavior, etc. Teachers cannot be expected to do these things in one hour or less, increments each day.
    Administrators need to step up and assist the teacher when behavior becomes so disruptive that there is no teaching going on. To blame the teacher for not teaching in such an environment is counterproductive. Students need to accept responsibility for their actions and the parents need to get all the facts before hammering the teacher because their wonderful and delightful child has been suspended.
    Students today are so smart and so unmotivated it makes for a constant struggle to teach and to learn. You don't hear about the students who are in the classroom witnessing the struggle and therefore losing their right to an education. Students need to take responsibility, parents need to support their children by providing homework time and help, teachers need to be realistic about what behavior to ignore and what behavior can't be ignored, administrators need to support teachers and parents in exacting the best behavior from students, and the public needs to grow the heck up and do what they can to help schools succeed in their mandate to educate their children. Volunteer your time, if you can, attend parent teacher nights, they just aren't for parents, and can enlighten you as to what the struggle really is. Sometimes it takes someone with no stake in the outcome to discover the solution. Waiting for Superman is a myth.

  3. Anonymous February 16, 2011 at 2:46 pm #
    Opinionated MAMA

    I said this when I first heard about the blog, As teachers we may all think these things and say them in the confines of the teachers' lounge, but they are iappropriate on a public blog.
    I have to agree with her comments, but she shouldn't have posted them online. That's what a personal hardcopy journal is for. Vent, feel the catharsis and then figure out a way for you to get your students to motivate themselves. You can't motivate by force and that is, unfortunately, what some students need. Parents must partner with the teachers when their children fail classes, have rude behavior, etc. Teachers cannot be expected to do these things in one hour or less, increments each day.
    Administrators need to step up and assist the teacher when behavior becomes so disruptive that there is no teaching going on. To blame the teacher for not teaching in such an environment is counterproductive. Students need to accept responsibility for their actions and the parents need to get all the facts before hammering the teacher because their wonderful and delightful child has been suspended.
    Students today are so smart and so unmotivated it makes for a constant struggle to teach and to learn. You don't hear about the students who are in the classroom witnessing the struggle and therefore losing their right to an education. Students need to take responsibility, parents need to support their children by providing homework time and help, teachers need to be realistic about what behavior to ignore and what behavior can't be ignored, administrators need to support teachers and parents in exacting the best behavior from students, and the public needs to grow the heck up and do what they can to help schools succeed in their mandate to educate their children. Volunteer your time, if you can, attend parent teacher nights, they just aren't for parents, and can enlighten you as to what the struggle really is. Sometimes it takes someone with no stake in the outcome to discover the solution. Waiting for Superman is a myth.

    • momof3 February 17, 2011 at 8:51 am #
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      I agree that this is a problem in this country…we are raising unmotivated, bratty, over-indulged kids. Parents do have a responsibility to turn that around. I absolutely agree (that's what I love about MAMAs on this site – we all agree), but we don't do it alone. Teachers are our partners and their job is hard. But, as a mother, I expect them to be part of the solution, not stoop to childish behavior themselves. We need grown ups to act like responsible grown ups. Maybe students should sign LEARNING contracts in classes…that establish rules of the class and expectations for active listening & participation, as well as consequences?! That way, maybe boundaries can be established and kids' educations won't be hurt by the disrespectful ones? Just a thought???

    • michelleo-mama February 17, 2011 at 9:14 am #
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      This is EXACTLY the conversation we hoped would spark…so, our kids are out of control. Why? We know why, kinda. Parents aren't doing their jobs well enough…and our kids don't have strong enough boundaries. Think about when we were kids…if we sassed a teacher, our parents took the side of the teacher. Every time. So, the dynamic has changed. Parents are enabling their children's behavior. So, how do we switch it around?

    • Anonymous October 12, 2011 at 6:12 am #
      Opinionated MAMA

      Amen.

    • Anonymous October 12, 2011 at 6:13 am #
      Opinionated MAMA

      The Amen comment was to ladynora52.

  4. Anonymous February 18, 2011 at 6:36 am #
    Opinionated MAMA

    I believe in "engaging brain before opening mouth". My children have been taught this since before they could go to school. (Think about it, before you say it. If it doesn't make sense IN your head, it's not going to make sense OUT of your head!) I wonder if this teacher has children of her own? How would she feel if someone posted comments about "anonymous" children and hers were included in that generalization? We are adults and it's time we started acting like it!

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