A bad teacher’s blog: what not to do.

Classy image from teacher's blog.

When I first came across this piece about a bitter teacher and her blog Where are we going and why are we in this handbasket, I thought it would be interesting as a cautionary tale about being in the public eye and blogging–you know, a reminder that things can (and will) be taken out of context, misunderstood, or misrepresented. After scanning a couple more headlines, I was willing to give her the benefit of the doubt, knowing that teachers are held to a higher standard than most. I also know that working with kids, while exhilarating, can be frustrating and exhausting at times.

And, let’s face it: sometimes kids are annoying.

I’ve been known to use some hyperbole or edgy humour, maybe even a dash of sarcasm to convey a message in an interesting way. But as I read this woman’s blog posts (which she has now deleted-cached posts here and here) it became apparent to me that she had lost her desire to teach (assuming she once had it,) and was either not fully aware of it yet, or didn’t have the fortitude to get out. To me her posts were just escalating cries of “please fire me.” Some choose death by cop. This was a classic case of death by blog.

In the post that appears to have finally been her undoing, she muses unwittily (if that’s not a word it should be) about some alternatives to the “canned comments” used on report cards. She doesn’t actually use these on report cards but she does post them to the internet for all her students and their parents (and the rest of the world) to see:

  • Concerned your kid is  automaton, as she just sits there emotionless for an entire 90 minutes, staring into the abyss, never volunteering to speak or do anything.
  • Seems smarter than she actually is.
  • Has a massive chip on her shoulder.
  • Too smart for her own good and refuses to play the school ‘game’ such that she’ll never live up to her true potential here.
  • Has no business being in Honors.
  • A complete and utter jerk in all ways. Although academically ok, your child has no other redeeming qualities.
  • Lazy.
  • Shy isn’t cute in 11th grade; it’s annoying. Must learn to advocate for himself instead of having Mommy do it.
  • One of the few students I can abide this semester!
  • Two words come to mind: brown AND nose.
  • Dunderhead.
  • Complainer.
  • Gimme an A. I. R. H. E. A. D. What’s that spell? Your kid!
  • There is such a thing as too loud in oral presentations. We shouldn’t need earplugs.
  • Att-i-tude!
  • Nowhere near as good as her sibling. Are you sure they’re related?
  • I won’t even remember her name next semester if I see her in the hall.
  • Asked too many questions and took too long to ask them. The bell means it’s time to leave!
  • Has no business being in Academic.
  • Rat-like.
  • Lazy asshole.
  • Just as bad as his sibling. Don’t you know how to raise kids?
  • Sneaky, complaining, jerkoff.
  • Frightfully dim.
  • Dresses like a street walker.
  • Whiny, simpering grade-grubber with an unrealistically high perception of own ability level.
  • One of the most annoying students I’ve had the displeasure of being locked in a room with for an extended time.
  • Rude, beligerent, argumentative fuck.
  • Tactless.
  • Weirdest kid I’ve ever met.
  • Am concerned that your kid is going to come in one day and open fire on the school. (Wish I was kidding.)
  • I didn’t realize one person could have this many problems.
  • Your daughter is royalty. (The Queen of Drama)
  • Liar and cheater.
  • Unable to think for himself.
  • I hear the trash company is hiring…
  • Utterly loathsome in all imaginable ways.
  • I called out sick a couple of days just to avoid your son.
  • There’s no other way to say this: I hate your kid.
  • As it gets closer to the end, the list gets more bitter and hate-filled, much like (one can only assume) this woman’s life. This list isn’t even the most offensive thing she writes! There are all kinds of swearing and name calling throughout other virulent rants.

    Maybe I’m being too hard on her. What do you think? Is there ANY chance that this is an otherwise good teacher/person that has simply shown an incredible lack of judgement in this case?

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    2 Comments

    Filed under Education

    2 responses to “A bad teacher’s blog: what not to do.

    1. Mel Joy

      What I think is also disturbing is the posts afterwards about congratulating the teacher on telling it like it is! I also agree that kids can be annoying sometimes but what are we teaching when we start behaving badly and using social media to bully and to put down our next generation? Who would want a teacher like that in front of the kids and if she is blogging something like that what is she saying when she is in front of them? This isn’t “telling like it is”, the blog is more of an example of how we need to be advocating strongly for better ways to monitor who is leading our students education. I don’t think I can put a favourable light on this blogger.

    2. Jason Scott

      Thanks for the comment, Mel; and congrats again on your new leadership role!

      Yeah, of course we don’t know all the facts, but it would be pretty difficult to defend this person. We all know the vast majority of teachers feel the exact opposite as this woman seems to, but we do need to ask if we are doing enough to ensure kids aren’t exposed to venom like this.

      Could this happen here (in BC)?

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