If you’re a professional blogger, by the close of business today you’ll know the name Natalie Monroe.
Who is Natalie Monroe? Natalie Monroe is a high school English teacher who, until a few days ago, worked at Central Bucks High School East in Pennsylvania. She is 30 years old with a young child and another due in just a few weeks. She’s had a blog going since August of 2009 which is a fairly short amount of time in blogger-world. So why is she getting so much media attention now? Because she wrote about how she feels about her work and, more importantly, her students.
My students are out of control. 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.
That is a direct quote from Natalie’s blog, which has been deleted. Thanks to the wonderful Google cache feature, however, you can view a number of her blogs online.
From what I’ve been able to ascertain, Natalie wrote about her students but never once named where she worked, nor did she ever name any one of her students. She doesn’t even write where she lives. The closest thing that I can see she has for identifying information is her photograph and the name which pops up on her Blogger profile (although I’m not sure if the name was there previously or if it has only been there since her blog was discovered a few days ago). For all anyone knows, Natalie Monroe could have been a completely fake persona.
Except that she wasn’t. It’s still unclear as to whether parents or students found the blog (one news company says parents, another says students), but someone found it. In just a few short hours Natalie went from being a normal high school teacher to being escorted out of the building. Her name started making the news circuits and reporters began showing up at her door.
Being fired from your job for blogging isn’t new (although as of this post Natalie is not yet fired and is suspended with pay), but so far I’ve found no cases where teachers get fired for talking about students. So really, at this point in time, neither the school nor the school district has any idea what they’re going to do about this situation.
My Two Cents: I’ve read a few of the blog posts that are currently being talked about right now, and I have to say that while what she has to say is harsh and at some points seems a bit cruel, I can see where she’s coming from and I don’t feel that she should be fired for expressing her opinion.
Point 1: What happened to freedom of speech? And I quote: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
It seems like now we’re dealing with a nation that doesn’t believe in freedom of speech, but believes in freedom of speech “as long as you’re not pissing someone else off”. That’s where the whole “politically correct” movement comes in. I’m sorry, but if you’re acting like a douchebag, I have the right to say that I think that you’re acting like a douchebag whether you want to hear it or not.
Natalie Monroe vented her frustrations about her students on her blog. She never maligned anyone personally and she never posted names. Freedom of speech, people!
Point 2: She was only talking about something that sane people have realized for awhile: kids are starting to believe that they deserve everything that they want and that they don’t have to work for it. Parents are becoming friends instead of caretakers rule makers. This is leading to children who feel entitled and who, when they don’t get their way, often become out of control.
I shocked a person the other day when I talked about my old grade school science teacher. He taught 5 – 8th graders. When I was in 8th grade I was sent to detention for dropping the F-bomb (it was completely on accident and the ONLY time I was in detention). I was frustrated and, yes, pissed off that I’d gotten detention and so I was spacing out. This teacher, Mr. D, was trying to talk and could see that I was spacing out, so he took his yardstick and smacked it across my desk, creating a very loud smacking noise that woke not only me up, but probably the dead in the cemetery down the road as well. The person I told this too was shocked that he was allowed to do it.
“Why?” I asked. “He didn’t physically or mentally hurt me. He wasn’t aiming for my fingers or anything else – he was simply trying to get my attention and did it in a big way.”
“Do that today and a teacher’s likely to get fired.” She responded.
But why? Even though Mr. D did smack my desk and make me wake up, I still remember him as an amazing and actually very empathetic teacher, even though he’d come across gruff at times. He cared about the kids enough to give tough love if it was necessary.
If only parents could do that today. And I don’t mean that you have to beat your child – I mean that you shouldn’t let your child do whatever they want to do. I know a number of parents who are extremely permissive to the point where it’s becoming a detriment to the child. Children who are allowed to play video games at all hours of the night, even though they have school the next day, and children who are so spoiled at home that they truly become little shits on the playground.
I’m sure dealing with teenagers is a much more frustrating situation, and I can understand and empathize with Natalie writing about these kids. Parents look to teachers to raise their children since they’ve stopped doing it, but the minute that a teacher does one thing that the parents don’t like, even if it’s done in the best interest of the child, they have a hissy fit. Come on parents! Start parenting your own children and this wouldn’t be a problem!
I wish all the best for Natalie, for while I do think that some of her posts were pretty harsh, she was only venting the frustration that was caused by dealing with children who feel as though they are deserve to have the world handed to them on a silver platter.