February 17, 2011

Natalie Munroe Blog

Natalie Munroe is a teacher at Central Bucks East High School in Bucks County, just outside Philadelphia who got so fed up with her kids, she decided to blog about it. However all that blogging may cost Ms. Monroe the job she's held, she's still blogging. It brings up the question.

"What if Oakland Teachers blogged like that?" "When will Natalie be the subject of a TV show?"

First, Natalie Munroe has taught English since 2006 and has a reported salary of $54,500. Her blog Natalie's Handbasket contains (well, contained, since she's taken some entries off public view but the one I'm about to post is still cached as of this writing), some really candid thoughts about the little ones she teaches.

Here's a sample direct from her blog post from fall 2009:

  • Kids! I don't know what's wrong with these kids today!
  • Kids! Who can understand anything they say?
  • Kids! They are disobedient, disrespectful oafs.
  • Noisy, crazy, sloppy, lazy LOAFERS,
  • Kids! You can talk and talk till your face is blue.
  • Kids! But they still do just what they want to do.
  • Why can't they be like we were?
  • What's the matter with kids today?

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 aggravator.

I've written up 4 separate students one for dropping the f-bomb in class, one for repeatedly saying "shittin'," one for crafting a pencil topper made from paper clips into the shape of a man and woman having sex, and one for being disrespectful to me.

Stop tapping.

Ignores and keeps on tapping. Another student tells him to stop but he still doesn't, indicating that if he didn't stop when I told him to, he wouldn't stop for this kid either. Another student then kicked the back of the first student's chair.

"I DID tell you to stop that already!"

"Yeah, you were ignored."

Do you want me to write you up?"

"Go ahead."


These are the types of students I deal with on a day to day basis. Something must be done about their disrespect and attitude problems. We should do away with the attitudes of the students.

Better to have a pet you know where you stand with a pet.

I didn't like that at all. Does she mean that she wants to kill her students who have attitudes? Considering the number of news reports of people going off and shooting others in schools and workplaces, that was beyond the pale. But Munroe says that, even with that, she bears no ill-will toward her students.

Costing Her A Job.

That post, among others, is reportedly going to cost Ms. Munroe her teaching job. The admin folks at Central Bucks are still investigating her blog posts. And she's giving them, perhaps unknowingly, new material. Here's part of her latest blog post in what she calls "Bloggate," where she learns that her students know about her blog.

When I woke up Wednesday morning and went to work, I certainly couldn't have foreseen what my day and, in turn, the rest of my life would be like from that point.

Colleague pulled me aside to tell me that students had somehow found my blog and were all abuzz and up in arms about how I'd cursed and said negative things about students in it. The colleague wanted me to know in case it became a bigger deal.

I didn't realize, however, that it already WAS a big deal.

Within the hour, I was in a meeting with the principal who had a pile of my blogs printed out and sitting before him. Within the next 15 minutes, I was gathering my bags from my office and being escorted from the building.

Oh, and she's pregnant. Natalie blogged that the rest of the day was spent in part feeling "violated" as she put it, by reporters showing up at her house. She had to tell her poor three-year-old what was going on with people knocking at her door and deal with her new, though perhaps unwanted, fame.

What If Oakland Teachers Blogged Like That?

As I read that and other posts by Natalie Munroe, the thought of what Oakland teachers might blog kept entering my mind. I know a lot of great Oakland teachers who put up with a lot every day. One of my dear friends who I think about every day has a frustrating job at times just dealing with rude kids. Another friend told me of 12 year old students in her class doing sex acts in closets. And another friend was actually robbed at her school.

I thought of all this and concluded that a candid Oakland Teacher Blog would be great because then we could read what their working conditions were really like. In that, I don't think Natalie Munroe should be fired, but applauded. She's giving America and the World a really frank view of what's happening at the front lines of education.

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