PA teacher unappologetic over blog posts critical of students

A high school English teacher in suburban Philadelphia who was suspended for a profanity-laced blog in which she called her young charges “disengaged, lazy whiners” is driving a sensation by daring to ask: Why are today’s students unmotivated — and what’s wrong with calling them out?  As she fights to keep her job at Central Bucks East High School, 30-year-old Natalie Munroe says she had no interest in becoming any sort of educational icon. The blog has been taken down, but its contents can still be found easily online. Her comments and her suspension by the middle-class school district have clearly touched a nerve, with scores of online commenters applauding her for taking a tough love approach or excoriating her for verbal abuse. Media attention has rained down, and backers have started a Facebook group. “My students are out of control,” Munroe, who has taught 10th, 11th and 12th grades, wrote in one post. “They are rude, disengaged, lazy whiners. They curse, discuss drugs, talk back, argue for grades, complain about everything, fancy themselves entitled to whatever they desire, and are just generally annoying.” And in another post, Munroe — who is more than eight months pregnant — writes: “Kids! They are disobedient, disrespectful oafs. Noisy, crazy, sloppy, lazy LOAFERS.” She also comes up with a colorful list of comments that she felt should be available on student report cards.

http://www.inforum.com/event/article/id/308881/

Oh yeah, we live in a society where unruly little buggers can swear at teachers with freaking impunity, but lody if a teacher, in an anonymous blog, that doesn’t identify the students or the school has the audacity to complain about their behavior, and make fun of it….look out lady, we will fire your pregnant ass.

If anyone can find me the text of these posts, I would be very happy to repost them.

 

Munroe did not use her full name or identify her students or school in the blog, which she started in August 2009 for friends and family. Last week, she said, students brought it to the attention of the school, which suspended her with pay.

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31 Responses to PA teacher unappologetic over blog posts critical of students

  1. Bryan K says:

    Sounds to me like she needs a new job anyway. She obviously wasn’t very good at teaching.

  2. billybones says:

    i don’t know, dude. I know some good teachers who are sick to death of trying to hold little punks accountable only to have parents come at them from one side and the admin from the other.

  3. billybones says:

    back when i was a case manager, i had the opportunity to sit in on some classes and observe the kids behavior…some of these kids need a good ass kicking…but the teacher’s hands are tied because the kid might be on an IEP (Individual Education Plan) with special accomodations, and suddenly the rest of the class is disrupted because the teacher can’t bounce one unruly asshole out. Because there is alway the unruly asshole whose asshole parents use a supposed mental disability to excuse themselves from parenting and their kid from having to behave….giving the kids with real disabilities a bad name.

  4. Bryan K says:

    My aunt, who teaches junior high math to advanced and special ed students, has a completely different view on the situation. In her special ed classes, she works with kids who don’t speak English, who have learning disabilities, and who have criminal histories. Interestingly, she says it is the advanced classes where she has the most trouble. She says that her biggest problem is indeed from a lack of support from the administration and the parents, but at the same time, in almost 20 years of teaching, she has never had a student so unruly that said student had to be removed from the class.

    My experience tells me that some teachers were just good at keeping a class under control while others weren’t. I’m sorry to say, but if you are a junior high teacher and can’t keep your class under control, you’re not very good at what you do.

    And I also thought I’d point out that if any one of her students was able to read one of her blogs and was able to tell who one of the students was that she was writing about, then the teacher might very well be breaking privacy laws.

  5. billybones says:

    I saw a kid get removed from the classroom because he sat and refused to do anything, and when the teacher told him to do something, he sat and said fuck you.
    After the 4th fuck you, and each was progressively louder, to very reasonable requests by the teacher, the kid flipped his desk. I helped remove him from the classroom. The parents came back saying the teacher was calling him names and ridiculing him in class. If it wasn’t for the fact that I and a para professional staff were there repeatedly verifying the teacher’s story, the teacher probably would have been in trouble. the fact remained that she was treated like the aggressor because the parents were talking lawsuit. The little shit needed a size 9 1/2 planted in his little ass.
    I work with mentally ill kids…and i can tell you, some of them are little shits who use it as an excuse to be assholes…because that is what the fucking educational system and their parents have taught them.

  6. Henry says:

    “the fact remained that she was treated like the aggressor because the parents were talking lawsuit.”

    Parents? You are being kind.

    It seems “parents” misuse of the court system contributes to the tolerance of this misbehavior. Any action that is adverse to their spoiled rotten brat child is taken by them to be a criticism of their sucky parenting skills. The truth hurts.

  7. Bryan K says:

    I’m curious to hear more about your experience, Billy. My one question is….why was the teacher requesting that the student do something?

    I’m not going to deny that these kids are likely misbehaved, but I truly think it’s a mistake to call them out on it. You should know this better than anyone. These kids who misbehave to this extreme in class probably have serious issues at home.

    My BIL has coached a bunch of 10, 11, and 12 year old boys in basketball the past couple of years. One of the kids he has had on his team is a total punk. I kind of like the kid because he makes me laugh, but my BIL just hates him. He’s a hot shot and he has no regard for authority. But my BIL has found a way to make that kid respect him.

    That’s the essence of teaching. It’s the number one attribute a teacher needs. If a teacher can’t get the kids to respect him/her, then that teacher has no business being in the class.

    I love hearing my aunt talk about the kids she teaches. Her favorite part of the job is trying to relate to the difficult kids on a one-to-one basis. Our school system needs more teachers like that.

  8. Henry says:

    “I’m not going to deny that these kids are likely misbehaved, but I truly think it’s a mistake to call them out on it.”

    Ah, yes. Sweep the offense under the rug. The flowers can’t bloom if you don’t weed the garden. This is the very problem. No respect for authority and allowed to continue as such. Bullshit.

    • Bryan K says:

      These kids need help….not ridicule.

      • Henry says:

        “Help” should not consist of enabling their misbehaviors. Help would consist of an attitude adjustment, which is no longer allowed. The teachers are between a rock and a hard place.

        When does help start kicking in for the students who are behaving themselves? When do they get help to avoid the distractions of the disorderly? Their rights don’t seemingly count. The malfactors own the high legal ground.

    • Bryan K says:

      After reading Henry’s links, I have to say….it’s pretty obvious that she doesn’t respect her students. Respect is a two-way street.

      • Anonymous says:

        That shit starts at home…it is at epidemic levels in the inner city and they wonder why no one wants to hire their disrespectful and uneducated butts…the sense of unearned entitlement is astounding…no one wants to earn their way….I see it from young know-it-all aspiring managers fresh out of college…they think they know it all and should be given immediate positions of authority and great responsibility with no real experience…I know in 5 minutes if I will be getting rid of a candidate eventually. They have either been prepared to continue the learning process or have been given a false set of credentials for life and their road ahead will be rough and full of painful surprises. They will be shocked that their lack of respect for the people they encounter in their career field, at least in the building and engineering field, will have them searching for another job shortly…and things are not too pleasant there right now.
        It starts with the P word…parents.
        If they give no respect, none will be accorded…and they are at the bottom of the food chain too…amazing.

        ag/chicago

  9. billybones says:

    Bryan,
    it went something like this
    Teacher: Johnny, could you please collect the papers?
    student: ignores her
    teacher: Johnny, if I might have your attention, would you do me a favor and collect the paper?
    Student: fuck you
    teacher: excuse me?
    student: you heard me…fuck you?
    a smattering of laughter from other students
    teacher: Do we have a problem that I don’t know about?
    student: no
    teacher: ok, then jimmy, will you please collect the papers
    johnny: FUCK THAT, you told me to.
    Teacher….getting a little exasperated: ok, thats enough of the language, all right?
    student: Fuck You

    Teacher: Ok, you are disrespecting the rest of your classmates and yourself. You have two options, stop swearing, or go vist the principal.
    student: (voice raised) fuck that, you don’t tell me what to do
    Teacher: ok, your choice is to go see the principle
    student: stands up , kicks his desk over, hitting another student “i don’t have to listen to you”
    at which point the para and I “escorted” him out of the room.
    The whole thing seemed to have started as a i’ll see if i can make my buddies laugh. Not too many other students found it funny, and some were telling him to knock it off. Despite being given choices, he backed his own ass into a corner. He hit another student with the desk when he knocked it over. At no point did the teacher ridcule him, mock him or treat him with disrespect. When parents and administration got through with it, until the para and I told our story supporting the teacher’s version and suggested that they talk to other students in the class, the story was that the teacher was unreasonable, mocked and ridiculed the student, and was yelling at the student in front of the other students. he and his parents denied that he kicked the desk over. I suspect that ultimately, had we not been in the room, the teacher’s union may have been strong enough to fight any “disciplinary” action, but because there was a mental health problem, the behavior was being excused, minimized and blamed on the teacher. I knew the kid, knew his diagnosis, and there was no reason why he should have been considered unable to make choices.

  10. billybones says:

    thanks henry, it was enlightening…and utterly humorous…and yes, probably unprofessional.

  11. Avatar of billybones billybones says:

    bryan,
    quite honestly, if people were to here us mental health professionals venting, they might get that impression too. People have lost any sense of humor they have. I find her comments to fall into the scathing satire category…of course, i suppose it is a valid point that i am not posting negative satirical comments about people I work with online. So I will agree that she made a very poor judgement in posting that.

  12. remrafdn says:

    On the other side of the coin, there are bright young students out there who are turned off and become nasty, though not so little, shits by years of mediocre teachers and substandard curricula. BTDT.

  13. thothamon says:

    as an educational professional (a teacher in layman’s terms) of many years, I find billy’s observations to be valid, yet hardly a representative sample. I would suggest that perhaps his experience is colored by the population he has spent so many years working with. From a satire standpoint, I found the teacher’s writing humorous and at times spot on, however, professionally, I find it amazing that she thought she could get away with it.

  14. billybones says:

    “I’m not going to deny that these kids are likely misbehaved, but I truly think it’s a mistake to call them out on it. You should know this better than anyone. These kids who misbehave to this extreme in class probably have serious issues at home. ”

    well, I’ve worked with kids in the mental health field since 1994 in a variety of settings including homeless shelters and school classrooms, and I believe one of the most damaging things for kids is not having clear boundaries. I do not support ridiculing kids for misbehaving, but i do support having clear boundaries with clear consequences. If you choose to swear at the teacher and disrupt everyone elses learning, you leave until you are willing to make the changes in behavior. Outside of possibly kids with Tourettes, there are very few of these kids who have no control over what they do or say, and despite not having structure and boundaries at home, they can learn them at school…but it must be taught in a respectful manner. I would guess that your aunt, as a successful teacher is able to make clear what is acceptable, and treats the kids with respect..and likely has very few behavior problems. And thothamon is likely correct, my experience in classrooms has been dealing with mentally ill kids, and the behavior is not applicable accross the board

    • Bryan K says:

      I think we are mostly in agreement, then.

      I’m not saying that you can’t punish a kid for violating clear boundaries. However, I am saying that ridiculing them in public only adds fuel to the fire (and this teacher got exactly what she deserved).

  15. Anonymous says:

    PC gone amuck again…people get their panties in a knot and the subsequent lack of proper bowel movements render them..well…full of shit…
    Some parents do a horrible job of preparing their children to participate in the educational process and think the fruit of their loins are as perfect as they think they are without spending a day in a class…they should sit in on a class or two.
    These little pukes bully, harass, and intimidate others and have elevated their artificial empowerment to an artform…knowing full well in this time of parental guilt over giving up their children to institutions and not spending QT with their spawn and the knee jerk reation of administrators to any complaint irregardless of actual merit….
    I don’t blame the teacher for venting and speaking the truth…the result is a natural reation by the guilty to take their revenge over being called out as the real irresponsible parties.
    Score another one for the degradation of civility and decency in the society, not to mention free speech.

    ag/chicago

  16. Want to read a real teacher’s blog? Then enjoy this new one, A Dixie Diary, at http://www.adixiediary.com. The positive response has been astonishing.

    Actually published a few days ago, this unique teacher’s journal shows a different look at what happens in the schoolhouse … by a rookie teacher who loves his work and his students, but he expresses his thoughts and observations in a hugely different way than Mrs. Munroe. Sure, there are some intense moments, even some choice words, too, but mostly it’s world-class hilarious, heartwarming … like reading a good book. It’s the teacher’s blog we’ve been waiting for. It’s simply mesmerizing.

    • Bryan K says:

      Thank you for the link. I read a few of the entries in the blog, and I am very happy to see that there are still teachers in the world who love their jobs because they love who they work with…the kids. Very heartwarming, to say the least, and absolutey hilarious.

  17. Avatar of billybones billybones says:

    Thanks teaching it real…wonderful stuff

    bryan, thanks for kicking my seat a little for being a cynical bastard

    • Bryan K says:

      lol, Billy. I have an old saying that goes something like…. “there is no such thing as a bad kid. There are only good kids, some of whom end up in bad situations.”

      Some teachers are just really good at what they do, and anyone who can keep control of a class of eighth graders is pretty special indeed.

  18. Many thanks billybones and Bryan K! Your kind words are much appreciated. I loved every one of them! Sometimes they liked me back!!

    Tad Jackson

  19. billybones says:

    if this really is the author of said blog, how in the heck did you wind up in my humble establishment.
    And, sir, might I suggest you shop this around as a book….

  20. mlevin says:

    There are a couple of key issues that are being missed here…. first, several of these blogs were supposedly created ON THE JOB, on the school’s computer, at a time when she should have been TEACHING. That in itself should be a fireable offense. Second, if she has such disdain toward teaching, would you really want someone like that teaching your kids? She is obviously burned out, and shouldn’t be teaching anymore….. She also supposedly criticized her school’s administrative staff….. which isn’t against any law or any school policy, but really, how stupid can you be, to go online and bash your boss? She deserves to be fired, for her stupidity, if nothing else….

    • Avatar of billybones billybones says:

      you know, i would have disagreed with you before, as the posts show, but i’m not so sure i do anymore. i sometimes let my cynical nature get the better of me

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