Saturday, 19 February 2011

There But For The Grace Of The Flying Spaghetti Monster

It was only a matter of time. Another teacher, in the US this time, Natalie Munroe has been suspended, having posted some rather unsavoury comments about her students on her blog. This follows hot on the heels of the sacking in the UK of Katharine Birbalsingh. Those of us in educational roles are likely to find ourselves under increased scrutiny, as we are coming under attack more frequently with the educational reforms hitting the UK. The only thing the tabloid newspapers seem to love more than a disgraced politician is a disgraced teacher.

My lab yesterday morning, after a ritual massacrebloodstain analysis practical

The comments she makes are pretty damning - there is a cache available. However, I had been more sympathetic to Ms Munroe before reading what she'd actually said. I feel more for the students who have commented on the cached blog post - I cannot say I would have been thrilled at being called a "complete and utter jerk" by my teacher! Who would?

There are some students in the world who are undoubtedly little shits, who do not want to be in school, who do not respect what their teachers are trying to do and who have no interest in learning. I wouldn't tell you if I had any of these students. Bitching about students is what the staffroom is for, and there's a reason it has a lock on the door.

I know that a couple of my A2 students have found this blog - it does not take a lot of googling. They were pleased at my glowing report of the Great Nando's Birthday Party (and I'm still waiting for the YouTube video, incidentally). Have I been back and made sure I haven't said anything unkind about my kids today? You betcha. Is there the possibility that one of you might read through and pick up on something I missed? Probably - and I'd hope you'd tell me. Do the students know that they are referred to collectively as "little buggers", "little sods" and if I'm annoyed with them "little darlings"? Of course.

There are real problems in schools and colleges with behaviour - hell, you only have to nip on to the TES Behaviour Forum to see some appalling situations. Surely the vibrancy of the TES forum and the increase in numbers of blogs means teachers are in need of support, of a sounding block, and sometimes a need to rant outwith the staffroom door. Maybe the teachers being disciplined for voicing their frustrations should count as a warning shot for the senior managers blamed for the poor behaviour management in schools.

I should add that I have few behavioural problems and that our college's policy on behaviour is pretty effective. The college also has a reasonably liberal policy on online activities as long as we do not bring it into disrepute or identify students.

Until then, if you're going to call your student a "sneaky, complaining, jerkoff", do it in an anonymous, untraceable manner...


  1. I can't find the cached version anymore, but her old blog URL now redirects here.

  2. Bugger - that's gone in the last couple of hours then. Still, I'm sure there are screenshots everywhere. There are several Facebook groups too, no doubt with these screenshots.

  3. A blog has sprung up called "What Natalie Monroe [sic] Said". With the caveat that without the direct source there is no way of proving that this is the content of the blog, it can be accessed here.


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