August 7, 2011

Speaking of teacher-bloggers, remember the woman who was suspended after she blogged about her students as "lazy whiners"?

We talked about her here?

The teacher, Natalie Munroe, was "reinstated because she has a legal right to her job." So... the teachers have their rights, but what about the students? According to the linked article, 60 students have requested that they not be assigned to her class. Now, the reason we know that is that the school's principal, Abe Lucabaugh, held a news conference. He took the initiative to announce that Munroe "has sacrificed her respect, her professionalism, and her ethical standing as an educator, role model and mentor for students."
"In exercising her right to speak and by blatantly refusing to apologize for her actions, she has created an unenviable position for herself..."
Free speech, baby. Lucabaugh's got his speech too.  How's he doing on respect, professionalism, and her ethical standing as an educator, role model and mentor? And what are the students — the "lazy whiners" — learning? 

***

Unlike the teacher-blogger discussed in the previous post, Munroe has not deleted her blog —"Where Are We Going & Why Are We in This Handbasket." It's right here.

42 comments:

edutcher said...

You can request not to be assigned to a particular teacher?

Wish I'd known that about 50 years ago.

The Crack Emcee said...

Yeah, it's funny how this free speech thing works - who enjoys the spoils, who determines the worth. You can be 100% correct, but if the "right people" don't want to hear it (or don't want anyone else to hear it) it won't get heard. Period. End of story. In 2011.

That's as true, today, as saying Tim Geitner shouldn't have had a job years ago.

Lucius said...

What self-respecting principal doesn't know the students are lazy whiners?

What, did the teachers' union demand he denounce her?

No apologies, baby. Keep on bloggin'.

The Crack Emcee said...

edutcher,

You can request not to be assigned to a particular teacher?

Oh yeah, man, kids rule the country, didn't you hear? Adults can't do shit about anything. Kids can have them thrown in jail, with the blessing of the other adults. Political correctness and all.

What to do, what to do,...?

DADvocate said...

Teacher requests vary from district to district and even school to school. In my kids school system, at the elementary school, they had a day where you could go request particular teachers. No guarantees, first come first serve.

At later grades, there is no formal requesting day, but it is done and usually successfully.

The principal seems to be making a fair and accurate statement. What did the teacher think whining about her whiny students was going to accomplish?

TWM said...

Torn here. No doubt many of her students are just as she described, with parents who don't care if they are. Makes her job tough to impossible I have no doubt.

On the other hand, she's got a professional responsibility to do her best and, you know, act professionally. If she can't handle that, she should move on to another career.

Here in Tennessee, parents can request kids be put in certain classes but there is no guarantee one way or the other and in the end they get who they get. It gets tougher in high school as only certain teachers teach certain classes.

Or move on to a private school and pay for teachers who feel the same way about kids who act the same way only out of a state of privilege in many cases.

chickenlittle said...

That old Althouse comment thread makes me kinda miss the loquacious Brazilian. At least he had feist.

Shouting Thomas said...

Public school teaching is a pretty cushy job.

If you're a public school teacher, you're really just filling in the time until you retire in 25 to 30 years. You're not saving the world and you're not in some damned remake of The Blackboard Jungle.

Got nothing against public school teachers. My daughter is one.

If you choose to go that route, be a good soldier, keep your mouth shut, enjoy all the time off and the bennies and plan your retirement at 80% salary.

The Crack Emcee said...

TMW,

On the other hand, she's got a professional responsibility to do her best and, you know, act professionally. If she can't handle that, she should move on to another career.

I've had reason, recently, to be intrigued by this question of society setting up impossible situations it expects individuals to fix or cope with. Do your best and act professionally - when no one around you is?

Look at our economy. Couldn't it be said that everyone in charge has been doing their best and acting professionally? Now imagine yourself as the one person who knows they're driving us off a cliff - what do you do? "Move on to another career"?

And what if that's the way all careers are now? No, I'm not joking:

What if there's a particular way of thinking that's infested our society, that's made it impossible for anyone sane to function? Then what?

Do you just keep moving? And what about your reputation as the idiots in charge slander you - making it more difficult to get further employment because they'll ruin you as they're ruining everything else??

Shouting Thomas said...

Not my job to tell you what to write, Althouse, but it seems you missed a more important free speech issue last week.

Vice President Biden accused Tea Party members of being terrorists. Their crime? It's what the left likes to call dissent. I assume this attack was launched with the approval of President Obama. So, the president of the U.S. OK'd this accusation that his most effective opponents are guilty of unspecified violence! Without any evidence!

I know exactly how the left would react to this tactic if it were used by a Republican president. They would be screaming that this represented a direct threat to freedom of speech and assembly. They would be suggesting that this foreshadowed a possibly violent crackdown on dissenters.

I've got to wonder the same. Is President Obama testing the waters to see what he can get away with in terms of crushing dissent? That's what leftists would be demanding to know if these tactics were used against them.

Bob Ellison said...

Lucabaugh is doing fine. He's trying to exercise his authority and keep whining jerks out of his faculty.

rhhardin said...

Derrida was called a philosophical terrorist.

He undermined just about everybody with an official position staked out in philosophy.

Then the officials learned to act dismissive and everything settled down.

My favorite Angry Letter.

A. Shmendrik said...

Lucabaugh's family name was originally Lucabaughrazzi, but they trimmed it a bit after hitting Ellis Island.

The Crack Emcee said...

That's another thing I've noticed - this meme of "whining." It's caught on with the same fervor as paying your "fair share."

I used to be known for my "rants," but no more - in certain circles now, despite the fact I'm not a child, I "whine" - because anyone can dismiss a whiner, right? No need to pay them any mind - even if you're wrong or uninformed - just declare they're whining and be done with them.

Like this principal. Oh, his students are models for the nation, probably. And the teacher - the teacher - is a "whiner" now. For saying just that about the students. Round and round we go - even though the teacher appears to have won the battle she was originally punished with for speaking up. It's like nobody's capable of learning anything because, even after being found to be wrong, nobody's able to give in.

The teacher's right and the principal should back her.

Fred4Pres said...

Holmes summed it up (correctly) with, a policeman "may have a constitutional right to talk politics ... he has no constitutional right to be a policeman..." McAuliffe v. Mayor of New Bedford, 155 Mass. 216, 220, 29 N.E. 517 (1892).

Too bad the teachers unions have ended that.

My six year old son (at the time) was hanging with a bunch of my friends and their sons and he started throwing snow balls. Some of the older kids threw him in a snow bank. He came up to me upset about it. I told him that at a boy's weekend, he could do pt say anything he wished, but he had to recognize that everything still has consequences.

Fred4Pres said...

And I am not criticizing this particular teacher. She is probably right (from what I know about it), her students are likely lazy whiners. The principal should support her but is probably too much of a coward to do so.

But the idea that she has a right to her job, means that teachers who I profoundly disagree with have their jobs protected. Sorry, fuck that. A job is a job. Schools should be run like any other business and if you piss off the powers that be they can fire you. At will.

And you can then open a competing school and get their business.

Hence the reason I am a big fan of vouchers.

TWM said...

"I've had reason, recently, to be intrigued by this question of society setting up impossible situations it expects individuals to fix or cope with. Do your best and act professionally - when no one around you is."

I understand your point, but yeah, you just move on. Simple as that. If for no other reason than one can only control one's own behavior, not the behavior of others. In other words, you cannot force a man to be a gentleman, but you can remain one yourself.

"Do you just keep moving? And what about your reputation as the idiots in charge slander you - making it more difficult to get further employment because they'll ruin you as they're ruining everything else??"

Again point taken, but in this particular case she seems to have ruined her own reputation.

Fred4Pres said...

I have been in the habit lately of catching and episode or two of Have Gun--Will Travel every evening. They are short and the writing is pretty good (Gene Roddenberry, Sam Peckinpaw and others wrote for the show).

I saw one where a school teacher was threatened by a local rancher with having the school house burned down for declaring Cantrell to be a terrorist (the rancher rode with Cantrell). Of course the issue there was not her losing her job, but her life. The rancher just decided he did not like her speech and was going to act on his own.

Paladin took care of business, as usual. He managed to talk to some family of one of the kids (who were Confederate veterans) to help defend the school.

It is not exactly on point, but what the heck. You should check it out. I think it was in Season 1 (it is available for streaming on Netflix).

Jay said...

She has a legal right to her job?

Really?

Fred4Pres said...

The teacher, Natalie Munroe, was "reinstated because she has a legal right to her job."

No. Unless you have a contract, you do not have a legal right to your job. But what we have missed is the teachers unions have essentially created contracts giving teachers jobs for life regardless of how shitty they are at it.

This is insanity. Most of us do not get that sort of security, and it is false security at that. It is a trap.

Check out Waiting for Superman which focuses on the insanity that is public education today.

The Crack Emcee said...

TWM,

I understand your point, but yeah, you just move on. Simple as that.

Thank you. That's just what I've been doing. I happily applied this week for a dishwashing job, because it didn't require I be tested/trained by Human Resources, take a drug test, interact with other people, or, basically, do anything but show up and do my job. I hope I get it.

Fred4Pres,

Paladin took care of business, as usual. He managed to talk to some family of one of the kids (who were Confederate veterans) to help defend the school.

I'm watching to see how long it'll take for anybody to actually work together to move things in the other direction. I mean, in the show, how much carping did Paladin have to put up with? Were there a whole contingent of folks into irony? Or delivering a lot of perfectly-timed snark? Did Titus show up, showing his ass, and discussing the size of his last dump? Other than the rancher, where was the equivalent of Garage and Cookie, trying to convince anyone who will listen of the good side of terrorism?

We've become a culture of fools.

purplepenquin said...

Interesting theory. With all the disdain Ann has towards the students who are protesting at the Capitol, should she be allowed to remain at the UW?

Fred4Pres said...

Crack, beyond TV dramas of the 1950s and 1960s, there were fools in the old west. They tended to cancel one another out.

If things really got bad, I could see several commentators here chasing one an other around while seeing each other like hotdogs and hamburgers.

Revenant said...

Well, she earns points with me for the name of her blog. I've always liked that joke.

Paddy O said...

Are students not lazy whiners?

I'm not sure of the controversy here.

Ann Althouse said...

"Not my job to tell you what to write, Althouse, but it seems you missed a more important free speech issue last week."

Make sure I didn't cover it.

Ann Althouse said...

I think if students are allowed to pick teachers, good students should pick her, knowing the "lazy whiners" will go elsewhere. It will be a great class, and the teacher will be newly energized by the absence of whiners.

Greg said...

Personally, I find this administrator's public comments directed at a teacher identified by name much more offensive than the the teacher's blog posts that identified no one by name.

TWM said...

"Thank you. That's just what I've been doing. I happily applied this week for a dishwashing job, because it didn't require I be tested/trained by Human Resources, take a drug test, interact with other people, or, basically, do anything but show up and do my job. I hope I get it."

Crack, I'm sure you're making a point here but I'm just not getting it. At least as it applies to this specific incident. And maybe not in general. Of course the snark didn't help any, but I've been reading your blog for several years so I know you can make it clearer to this poor stupid soul.

galdosiana said...

You know, I just went to her blog and read several of her posts about education and all the stuff she's been through because of her blog, and I have to say that I actually agree with a lot of it. Her point of view on the American public education system is right on par with what I've personally experienced and been trying to fight against for quite some time. I wish the older posts were still on her blog, but I'm sure they've been removed for legal reasons. Kudos to her for keeping it going, though, despite all of this.

TWM said...

"I think if students are allowed to pick teachers, good students should pick her, knowing the "lazy whiners" will go elsewhere. It will be a great class, and the teacher will be newly energized by the absence of whiners."

Jeeze, Professor, assume much?

gutless said...

"The teacher, Natalie Munroe, was 'reinstated because she has a legal right to her job."

Maybe however it is incontrovertible that the administrator quoted has an unalienable right, nay, duty to kiss my butt.

gadfly said...

This lady epitomizes the shallow thinking we can expect from teachers today. She has been technically "fired" (but not in a legal sense) because she stepped over the line. Now the school system is protecting its bare ass by making her return to the same classroom to confront he enraged parents that she pissed off.

She is crying in her beer about the $30K she spent on a masters degree that she thought was necessary to protect her job and tenure. It turns out that she did not need the Masters (oops!) and she is likely going to have to move elsewhere to find a peaceful working environment.

She cannot be very smart if she writes about her job on the internet. Most teachers just answer union poll questions.

"In a poll of AFT teachers, 17 percent said they lost four or more hours of teaching time per week thanks to disruptive student behavior; another 19 percent said they lost two or three hours. In urban areas, fully 21 percent said they lost four or more hours per week. And in urban secondary schools, the percentage is 24."

jamboree said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bob Ellison said...

The school in this case is less than a mile from my house. I know many of the kids, the teachers, and the community well. It's probably one of the best public high schools in the country. If these kids are that bad, well, Natalie, we've got bigger problems than your blog contemplates.

Some of the commenters here seem to assume that any teacher complaining about lazy, whining students must be a good egg. The Professor wrote, "I think if students are allowed to pick teachers, good students should pick her, knowing the 'lazy whiners' will go elsewhere. It will be a great class, and the teacher will be newly energized by the absence of whiners."

Professor, could it be that this teacher, not her students, is the bigger cause of problems? She complains about her students. What teacher doesn't have a right to do so? But this one did it publicly, and seems proud of it. Did she contemplate the possibility of her own inadequacies? Not sure. Did she exercise good judgement in the way she blogged? Certainly not.

David Christian said...

Respect is a two way street. My then high school aged son had an english teacher that spoke in glowing terms about Che Guevara.

Without context my son asked my what I thought of Guevera. I said something along the lines of that I thought he was a "murderous, racist, scum bag and his best day was the day American Special Forces off'ed him". I suspect a cleaned up variation made its way back to the classroom. Things went downhill from there from there.

Several months later, I was sent an email, saying son was not being respectful to the teacher.

I went in for a parent teacher conference with the intent of supporting the teacher. In the course of conversation it became very clear that I was dealing with two children; my son and the teacher.

I got zero support from the school administration in addressing my concerns about the teacher. Did I mention that he was the union rep for the district?

Carol_Herman said...

Well, she "blogged" instead of "tweeted."

Would it have been better if she just went, after work, to a local bar, and complained to a few patrons? Or just the bartender?

I think going after what someone writes on a blog ... doesn't consider how much "space" a blog actually has. Which is infinite.

I'm glad the teacher is still employed! Will next year's lot of students be any better?

Do we blame Nintendo? Did video games move so fast ... that our kids won't slow down for school work?

You know, I can remember once, when my kid was running a fever. And, I said he had to get back into bed. And, he began to cry. He loved school!

I used to thank teachers profusely! What they did couldn't be duplicated at my kitchen table.

It's PRICELESS STUFF!

Have adults lost their minds? Why not then just wait for Alzheimer's?

Lucius said...

I see no reason in principle why she shouldn't call her students 'lazy whiners' to their faces.

They're teens. Teachers are adults. They should be able to critique their charges forcefully and in person.

Wolverines: how can you get 'em if the shits can't be told they're below expectations?

Nichevo said...

Have adults lost their minds? Why not then just wait for Alzheimer's?

Yenta Carol, in your case I think Christmas came early.

DADvocate said...

I don't get the constant depreciation of our young folks. Maybe it really is a generational thing that every generation thinks the one following it is a bunch of soft, whiny losers. I don't see it that way.

I assume my kids and their friends are fairly typical of today's American kids. I see the whole spectrum, pretty much like we had when I was growing up. My own kids work pretty hard and do pretty well. My youngest son graduated from high school this past June. They had the largest number of kids in the history of the school receive some sort of academic scholarship, a hundred or more I believe.

I see this as a whiny butt, spoiled teacher that doesn't want to put forth the effort to motivate and inspire kids, or isn't capable of doing so. The problem couldn't be her!!! It must be those lazy, whiny kids. Like all those whiny kids that graduated a few years ago and are now fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Lady, if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. And, quit you're bellyaching.

Freeman Hunt said...

From her blog:

Despite not being in school, I'm still a card-carrying member of the teacher's union. There have been a rash of anti-union and education-funding-cuts reform movements of late, and it has been horrifying to watch. It has also been strange to watch because I'm still a teacher, but feel like I'm watching from the sidelines now because of my standing with the district. Nevertheless, I've been sending letters to my state representatives regarding various education issues (vouchers, furloughs, funding, to name a few) in solidarity with other union members.

Meh.

Glad we're going to be homeschooling.

The Crack Emcee said...

TWM,

Crack, I'm sure you're making a point here but I'm just not getting it. At least as it applies to this specific incident. And maybe not in general. Of course the snark didn't help any, but I've been reading your blog for several years so I know you can make it clearer to this poor stupid soul.

I'm sorry. Yes, I see this society as one that's made it near impossible to live forthrightly. The problems I've moved to get away from - whole cities away - are here none-the-less. I shouldn't have to live in dread that I'm going to be asked about (and possibly fired over) politics or "spirituality" but I do - that sort of thing is supposed to be against the law, right? That's not how it plays out when the boss is a Democrat. So I'm making moves - along with accepting much less money - just to keep going in such an environment.

This teacher has a blog. She's now been fingered over it, with even the principal piling on. I'm sure the pressure must be enormous, and all because she's doing what she has every right to do, and saying what she has every right to say. But people don't like it, and that's enough for right and wrong to go out the window. She's outnumbered and outgunned. We've created a world where that's how it works:

The mob controls everything.

Libs have told me, many times, they want to see a civil war in this country, and they're creating the right environment for it, that's for sure.

Nothing will stop them but The Macho Response.