Monday, May 21, 2012

LACKING RESPECTABILITY

"People have a lot more outlets for their conservative ideas than they did when I was in high school."

Much has been said about the way students show no respect toward teachers and authority in general. That's generally true, and its bad for society and the structure of culture. Kids can't learn if they won't listen to and respect their teachers. The entire education system relies on teachers being treated as a reliable authority and kids learning from them. A classroom setting won't work if the students will not treat their teachers correctly.

However, that's not to say all teachers necessarily deserve respect. Some of them are just awful at the job, but areas need teachers so badly they get to stay and teach. Some are incompetent (I remember well teachers in New Jersey failing the basic graduation test they required students to learn by a large margin a few years back, for example). And its a bit much to expect students to treat a teacher that incapable of doing their basic job. Yes, the position they hold deserves respect but the person in it does not necessarily.

Take this recent audio of a classroom in North Carolina:


Now, the kids still treat this woman as a teacher, but they're laughing about her and chatting while she's trying to teach. They just don't care to listen to her that closely or give her much respect. But she's an illogical twit, she's irrational and screams at them yelling "No, no no!!" when they dare to disagree. And her position is patently without merit or historical validity.

Basically the discussion goes like this (paraphrasing):
Teacher: Mitt Romney bullied some kid when he was in school.
Several students: So did Obama.
Teacher: I don't kjnow about that but Romney is a bad guy.
Student: Obama said in his book he did.
Teacher: That doesn't matter because he's president.
Student: We should treat them the same way, rip on one, rip on the other.
Teacher: Shut up, he's the president, you have to treat him with respect, you cannot criticize him!
Student: I'll say what I want.
Teacher: YOU WILL NOT DISRESPECT THE PRESIDENT IN THIS CLASSROOM!
Student: All I did was ask a question "didn't Obama bully a kid too?"
Teacher: As a teacher I am not allowed to let you disrespect the president of the United States in this class.
Student: But I didn't disrespect the president I just asked a question.
Teacher: And I said maybe, but you have to understand, Romney is just running, Obama is president.
Student: They're both just men. They're equal.
Teacher: They are not!
And so on. Basically this teacher does not want to let anyone dare to question or criticize President Obama but encourages criticism of Romney. And she does it in a shrill hysterical voice, trying to shout down the student as he calmly responds. She comes across as demented and idiotic.

And how is a student supposed to show respect to someone like this? I would have disliked her just for being irrational and loony, you cant treat someone who acts that way in a classroom as if she knows what she's talking about in other areas.

So the fact is, at least some of the time, you can't really blame the students for treating their teachers with contempt or disregard. Sometimes they have it coming, and sometimes they're the problem. This student tries really hard to be polite and subordinate even though this woman is a demented harpy (perhaps because he knows he's being recorded) which is good for him. But you can tell he doesn't think much of her at least as a teacher. He'd have never recorded this if it hadn't come up at least once before on the topic.

Now, other places this has come up the inevitable comments are "she clearly black and too many blacks treat Obama like this." Well that may be so, but some the students are black too (including the guy who recorded the video, it sounds like) and not one single student actually defended the teacher or agreed with her - but they were agreeing with and defending the student who made the recording. So this isn't about what ethnic background the teacher has, its about mindless obeisance to a politician and lack of ability to think critically and rationally. And by the time you're her age, you really should have learned, particularly in her job.

*UPDATE: the teacher in question has been suspended with pay. So she gets to keep her paycheck but doesn't have to actually do any work. I presume she likes to teach so this is some level of punishment but it doesn't seem like much.

1 comment:

Dan said...

Sounds like she was already being paid not to teach. And now the students don't have to be subjected to her prgressive ideology, for a while anyway. I call that a win!