Well if there is one thing the Natalie Monroe blog has done, it’s definitely been to inspire conversation on the issue. She’s received her 15 minutes of fame for her fiasco and it could cost her the very job she was complaining about in the first place. My first article on the subject brought some very opinionated comments. Personally, I enjoy it. I believe everyone is entitled to their own opinions and a case like this is the perfect opportunity to bring awareness to the issues of our education system today.
What I find funny though, is the blatant attacks on my person, character and opinions on the matter, many by those who claim to be educators themselves. I’ll spare you some of the PMs I received, full of as many four-letter words as Ms. Monroe’s original blog, which has now been removed.
One commenter named “Sherry” had a strong response to my article. She quoted a line from it out of context as follows:
“But is it right to fault the kids? Children are, after all, children. If one cannot have patience with them and compassion for them, then maybe teaching is not the best profession for you.” This comment sounds like the “good ol’ boys” saying kids will just be kids! If teaching is not the “right” profession for us, you might as well give those pink slips to 80% of the teachers, because we talk about our jobs; which will include difficult student behavior.
Personally, I don’t know anything about “good ‘ol boys” and I have never liked the saying “kids will be kids”. This commenter clearly needed some clarification on what I meant by that so I kindly offered it.
Children are not adults. High school students are also not yet adults. They are still minors and thus, should be treated as such. If there is a problem with a minor (such as discipline or behavior) then they are not 100% at fault. Poor upbringing, problems at home, lack of good morals and values, lack of a solid role model and twisted social standards can all play a role in this. This does not mean that a child/teen should not be responsible for their actions and misdeeds. However, anyone who’s chosen to work with children needs to have an understanding and awareness of these issues.
Someone whose chosen profession is to teach, lead and help minor students should not have the hateful feelings towards them that this woman has. What if an overweight patient was told by her physician, “You have diabetes because you are a fat, lazy slob and I refuse to help you since you clearly cannot help yourself”?
I fully support teachers and the difficult job they have to do and my article states so. Also, I didn’t say anything was wrong with teachers talking about their professions or venting frustrations over troublesome students. I work with children every single day and I know full well many of the challenges that teachers must face. I respect those who do their job well, often sacrificing of themselves and with too little compensation or appreciation.
I’m not debating that kids are out of control. I fear sending my own kids to public school each day for many of the problems commenters have posted. However, these problems are not solely the fault of the students and it is a breach of professionalism for a teacher to publicly proclaim the nasty things she said about her students. She’s ignorant for thinking no one would ever find it. She’s justified in her feelings but did not choose the proper outlet for them. She behaved just as poorly as her students. The difference being they are minors and she is an adult.
Natalie Monroe and her blog remind me of a quote by Marva Collins, “Don’t try to fix the students, fix ourselves first. The good teacher makes the poor student good and the good student superior. When our students fail, we, as teachers, too, have failed.”
While I don’t doubt that she may have had difficult students, she failed them considerably with her actions and her attitude towards them. While she says that she did not feel this way towards all of her students, I cannot imagine it would make any student feel good about being in her company.
Her snide and hateful comments do not illicit trust or respect. If this is the attitude and mindset she had when she entered the classroom each day, then perhaps this was at least part of the reason why she had such troublesome students.
Teaching is a valued profession that doesn’t get the support and recognition it deserves. On that note, I leave you with one more teacher quote:
“In teaching you cannot see the fruit of a day’s work. It is invisible and remains so, maybe for twenty years.” ~Jacques Barzun
Will the fruit of your work be positive or negative?
Natalie Monroe Blog – “I Don’t Think I Did Anything Wrong”