Well, someone has informed the newspapers of my personnel matters (a play on words, not a misspelling), so you might know about my pending job status.
In short, yes, I've been set up. For now, that's all I'm going to say about it.
In the coming days, I, like my colleagues, will administer final exams to my students-- an overall nice group this year whom I have enjoyed teaching despite the hoops I had to jump through all year at the hands of the district-- and will hope, as do all teachers on behalf of their students, that they end the semester on a high note! I, like my colleagues, will pack up books, enter final grades into the system, and finish the four zillion things that need to be done by week's end. On Friday, I, like my colleagues, will wish my students well as they leave for the summer.
Also like my colleagues, I will begin my own summer safe in the knowledge that I worked hard every day this year to prepare my students for whatever lies before them, to meet the challenges that arose daily, and to perform my myriad duties at work with pride and dignity. Though it will surely be implied otherwise, I know the truth, my colleagues know the truth, my students and their parents know the truth. I stand by my work this year, and every year before.
Last year, when the first part of this saga broke, people contacted me asking how they can help; they sympathized with some of my frustrations, but, what's more, they wrote about how they saw that problems exist in the system and how our country deserves better. As I have been waging my own battles at work every day against a corrupt system, government has continued its assault on public education. Programs and funding are still being cut; class sizes are still increasing; teacher unions are still coming under attack; good teachers are still losing their jobs because the people in charge have no idea what needs to be done.
My husband, Brian, having seen firsthand the problems that exist now (and existed even before Bloggate 2011), is running for State Representative for the 29th District in Pennsylvania. He, too, believes that there are problems in education today and wants to be part of the solution. I'm proud of him for that. (You can check out his website at www.votemunroe.com)
I've always been the kind of person who stands up for what I believe in, but the importance of doing so has been reinforced these past 16 months. We cannot be afraid to take a stand when something is wrong. We cannot back down just because someone makes something harder for us in an effort to shut us up. We cannot go with the flow just because it's easier not to make ripples. We can't be complacent or we're part of the problem. Instead, we have to be part of the solution.
The issue with my job is bigger than me. It's about freedom of speech. It's about having integrity and not compromising the truth. It's about the downward spiral of our education system and the low value that people place on education. It's about making people accountable. It's about standing up for personal beliefs and not apologizing when those beliefs aren't popular.
And, hopefully, it's about bringing people together to make some positive changes that will benefit all of us.
Way to go Natalie!! My hubby and I are praying for you!ReplyDelete
What did you expect was going to happen when you continually "bite the hand that feeds you??"ReplyDelete
Good luck as you continue your stand. You're courageous. Take care.ReplyDelete
Sorry to say you committed the terrible sin of noticing the elephant in the living room and speaking about it. Makes me sick what the suits in education have done. They will speak to dreams and whatever positive BS the public will buy and then act like the product that the system turns out is one of quality. Sheisters.ReplyDelete
Hang in there...from a former teacher
You have a lot of important things to say, but the unfortunate part is they have become secondary and nearly meaningless because you chose to let your frustrations and anger about all of these things out on the very students who you say are suffering within the education system. You stooped to name-calling and ridiculing them instead of addressing all the real issues that you have brought forth in this last blog. I have taught for 24 years in middle schools and college environments to mostly developmental and inner-city students. I have one brief moment when I first come in contact with them to reach them; to make them believe I see beyond their throat tattoos and face piercings, and all their attitude they bring in from the streets. I do it with humor, and then they know I want them to be who they are afraid to be which is vulnerable and open to learn. They become my best students and take my classes over and over with each level they move up within the educational system they are in because they know I see beyond the stereotype they have been forced to live in. I don't call them names in blogs, I don't call them stupid in teachers' lounges, and I certainly don't assume they will fail just because of who they are and where they come from. So, if you had used humor with those "ratlike, lazy, entitled" students, possibly they would have responded better to your lessons. That is, if you ever get to teach in a classroom again. I hope this is a lesson learned for you to stop blaming the victims of the system because those kids share the same frustrations you do, they just act out because they aren't mature enough to know better, and they were looking to you to rise above it but you didn't know how apparently. It's really tragic all the way around.ReplyDelete
Amen! Good teachers have helped me succeed, despite any obstacles I've had.Delete
-recent college grad
Thank you for your honesty and courage.ReplyDelete
People in this country have a problem of facing the real problems. They fail to see why this country is no longer #1 in the world. It's never the parent or kid's fault. Keep at it, at least someone is being honest about it. I guess we should not bit the hand that feeds us even if it is corrupt and hopelessly broken. I am sure that's what the folks at BP thought about too when they were leaking millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf. I am sure that's what they were thinking at Fukushima when the power plant was going meltdown. Don't rock the boat that feeds you.ReplyDelete
Kids are brutal and disrespectful these days. The school system is in fact going down on every level. Lowering standards and catering to defiant children is the way to mask the real underlying problems. It sickens me that teachers are treated so poorly and how in some states their wages are reflected on the grades their students receive. Something needs to change! You have our full support, Natalie! We are praying for you in Florida!ReplyDelete
During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act. ~ George Orwell.ReplyDelete
We have to stand up and out to make a difference. Do that!
I think people look at teacher in this almost like an angel with wings state when they are merely human. If you abuse a human they will fight back, In this case with words. A Mature society knows that you are allowed to express yourself however you like so long as its not threatening. If every right is always challenged then are we suggesting that we should have no rights? For the students, they learn that this is the real world. not everyone is going to approve or put up with self indulging bad behavior. So what if a few feelings got hurt. How can you expect to fearlessly fight for America against this "evil do'rs" when you cant even stand up for its rights? You can't define ones right along the way of life, some rights are a just a way of life. I say Natalie is in the right for standing up for whats right or wrong, no matter if you or I or anyone else don't like it. Life isn't like a box of chocolates, it's more like rock candy, bite too hard and it hurts...but it still tastes good.ReplyDelete
As an aspiring literature teacher myself, I can only hope for a few of the students who actually want to be there. Public education may not have improved by the time I get where I want to be, but I will be looking out for the real gems that want to be there and hope I don't have too many of the unmotivated students that I know are all too common. I have faith that you'll win this thing with flying colors. Freedom of speech and press protects you and I believe in you. Thank you for showing that these issues cannot be swept under the rug anymore and that something has to give.ReplyDelete
-A Yahoo! reader.
Gosh, golly Darn, "expletive", Maybe she expected people might actually look at the real problems that the educational system faces and take just a little responsibility as to the causes of these problems. Lets see, maybe she thought that thru posting the increasing demands placed on teachers in the classroom caused by "out of control children" some if even one in a hundred parents if you can even define them as that might open their eyes and begin to actually parent their children! That of course would require that they spend time to teach their perfect little "explicative" trophies what is acceptable behavior in a class room and in general instead of relying on the boob tube to teach them real values and respect for the people who are charged with their education instead of relying on Snookie to set an example of what is acceptable conduct in public. Have you taken a look at the Lady who was badged to the point of a nervous breakdown by children on a school bus? Do you think this is acceptable conduct by children and what makes you think that what Mrs. Munroe endured anything less in her classroom by kids that could be described as anything less than little hoodlums.ReplyDelete
If anything this idiot should be fired out right for this absurdity
School board president Paul Faulkner said to the press, "Nothing could be further from the truth. Instead, "Ms. Munroe was, at best, a satisfactory teacher, and was experiencing performance difficulties well before her blog became an issue."
If you want to really bitch about something then bitch about what is going on in our educational system and with parenting if you dare to call it that.
Fight them Natalie!!! Your free speech is way too important not to fight for!ReplyDelete
Natalie, I was "let go" over two years ago for not agreeing with my principal. She used her power, manipulation, lies, politics, and bullying tactics to get rid of me. All I did was disagree with an observation she wrote about me, and I disagreed respectfully. It didn't matter. I can relate to what you have been writing, and some day I would love to tell you my full story. Stay strong!ReplyDelete
its so hard being a teacher in general, there is this public assumption that portrays us as people who are suppose to live like saints and when we don't we are persecuted for it :/ReplyDelete
Here is what really gets to me....Direct quote from Yahoo, Conor Skelding author.ReplyDelete
"While something may be legally right, it may not be ethically or morally right," Lucabaugh wrote. "There are consequences that occur when a person chooses to exercise her rights and say outrageous, disrespectful, vulgar and cruel things about other people ... especially when it's a teacher saying terrible things about the young men and women who are in her classroom."
SO...we have free speech, but we cannot use it? If the constitution protects my right to something, then you cannot punish me for it. Do we need to break down the word protect for Lucabaugh so he can understand it?
you go girl! Your story is mirrored in just about every public school in the nation!!!ReplyDelete
School districts just want to sweep the problems under the rug and then present their propaganda that "things are good" to the public. As long as things LOOK good teachers get to keep their jobs but when things get messy because someone is trying to address REAL issues and FIX them, the school officials target the squeeky wheel and get rid of them and the cover their butts by citing the teacher as being "below standard".
Hang in there and get the word out. I wish I had your courage and energy.
- a former teacher
I must live under a rock. I just heard about your story this morning on the Today show. You should feel proud of being honest and using your blog as a way to express your feelings. I hope that Freedom of Speech & Press protects you.
All the best to you,
I have SO much respect for you as a teacher and a human being for being able to stand by the statements that have caused such turmoil for your in your career.ReplyDelete
I am eighteen years old, a recent graduate from a small-town high school in North Carolina, and am more than familiar with how irritating students of this generation can be. Also, I agree with Savanna's comment, I, too, am tired of the educational system catering to those who are not willing to try and give it their all in school.
I, personally, see nothing wrong with the way you voiced your opinions. I am more appalled to see the way the the school board and the press has responded.
Natalie, I am so sorry to hear about what happened to you, and I am glad that your plight is getting the national attention it deserves. I work as a Special Education Instructional Assistant at a high school in California. I attend regular high school classes with high functioning special education students, and I have heard many different long-time teachers tell me how much they have had to water down the curriculum in the past few years. So many students simply refuse to do long assignments ... like read books and write 5 - 10 page term papers ... that teachers have had to eliminate most of the major projects they used to assign each year. Otherwise, some teachers would have to fail a quarter of their students!ReplyDelete
I wrote a short Kindle book called "Dangerous Lies We Tell to Children and Ourselves" (under by author name Deborah Dian) and a large section of the book has to do with the lies we tell children and ourselves about education. At the high school where I work, we are so wrapped up in how many kids go to college, that we rarely encourage low performing kids to simply get jobs. We also have eliminated vocational education in many parts of the country, which does serious damage to kids who flounder in traditional high schools. There is so much more I could have said about these things in my book, but didn't want to risk the same kind of problems with my school that you had with yours. It is a shame that we do not feel we can speak up to seek improvements to our educational system without feeling that we could lose our jobs!
There currently exists a terrible climate of disrespect and hostility toward teachers in our society. It is damaging to all involved in education. I send you my support.ReplyDelete
Kids now a days have no respect for anyone. I praise you 100%. Freedom of speech. You didn't use names. I am totally on your side!!ReplyDelete
As adults do we not teach our kids that bullying is wrong, that harrassing texts and cyber bullying is still bullying? And if that child comes back at you and says freedom of speech then how can you punish that child for expressing his rights as a citizen of the United States? What about the child that gets the names thrown at them, are they not entitled to express themselves and seek help from those that are supposed to protect them, from the very teachers that say bullying is bad? Yes there are those kids that do not have the dicipline or structure in their lives due to whatever reason that has fallen upon them, but that does not mean that you have to give up on them and push them away because they unwilling to try. You made a mistake in becoming the one person that we teach our kids not to be. You may want to express yourself to relieve the tenson to feel free, but why not write it in a journal for just yourself, why tell the whole world of your problems? And now you want to sue because you don't think you did anything wrong, is that not the behavior of a bully? Pointing fingers at everyone else instead of themselves so they don't get into trouble, so that everyone around them will see what an innosent person you are trying to look like? You are the adult who is supposed to set the example for them, you are not supposed to join in on their behavior, you might as well sit down in a desk in front of the class so that you may learn how to be a teacher. I understand that teachers now a days have the hardest role in this country. They have to find a way to teach the children of tomorrow so that they may go into life with an education to become sucessfull leaders. And every teacher knows there is going to be a few that are going to fall through the cracks due to the fact that books will not change the way of life they choose to live. And i also know the sacrafices you have to make in getting supplies and materials for every year you teach, and for that i am greatful, but that still does not excuse your behavior. How is it that you think that you were set up to fail, when it was you that wrote the words to the world to show how frustrated you are with your job, instead of keeping it to yourself. But instead you made that decision and with that decision i beleive you should suffer the consequences of your actions. You made the school look bad, you made yourself look bad, and you made the students think that they are not worth teaching because of your remarks. I do wish your husband the best in his efforts to fight for the rights of the teachers cause yes they are not givin enough attention to the fact that there needs to be a pay raise for all teachers for the efforts they give to the students of the future, and with that I wish him good luck. But as for you, I think that your actions as a bully has set an example for those in your school that name calling isn't put up with and will not be tolerated and thats how it should be.ReplyDelete
Bullying, eh? You think this woman bullied someone?Delete
Behold your precious little angels. Look around. Have some fun. Listen in. Then tell me an anonymous blog with a handful of followers is bullying.
If you're teaching your kids not to bully, you're doing a GREAT job.
Natalie, I just saw the news release. I am so so so sorry that it has come to this. Just remember that you have done nothing wrong (as far as I can tell), and this most recent action is just another symptom of the broken public education system in America. We're still behind you, girl.ReplyDelete
Natalie, I'm a teacher, too, and all you did was express yourself. Why can a comedian, an NBA player, even reality "stars" say what they want about whom they want, yet a teacher can't? We ALL have opinions. The FACT remains: the U.S. is lagging behind not only in education, but also in other areas. AA says it best, "The first step is admitting the problem!"ReplyDelete
Thank you! You are an amazing person. I wish you could do a high school tour to talk to these children. I've been out of high school for 5 years and I still consider it the worst span of my existence. I'm lucky modern education is just the same information on repeat for 12 years or I would've never made it. I sat through 4 years of listening to discipline lectures and other forms of chastises directed at my "peers". They are indeed lazy, inattentive, and unmotivated. I am not looking forward to the future my generation makes. It will probably be reminscent of the movie Idiocracy.ReplyDelete
I'm a teacher and am so sorry for what you are going through. It's really a terrible situation and I can totally understand everything you wrote about and what lead you to write/speak that way. It is the truth and we are all human. I hope you win your lawsuit and that people will stop trying to be so "politically correct" when speaking about education and speak the real truth! Good luck!ReplyDelete
I think you should be able to express your own opinion on your personal blog. It is utterly ridiculous for you to have received such consequences. As others have said, many people are behind you and I think the negative reaction you have received has been blown out of all proportion by the gossipy news media.ReplyDelete
It came up on Yahoo news yesterday. I think what you did wasn't wrong. But there were other ways to express your feelings other than writing about themReplyDelete
I sympathize with your frustration and anguish and I think we should all form private schools to teach only kids who want to learn and behave. Sort of like pioneer days. That is the only way a kid is going to receive a decent education these days.ReplyDelete
It's also about the absolute trash that administrates the Central Bucks School District.ReplyDelete
I've been lied to by a principal (thanks, Mr. Lucabaugh), an administrator (thanks, Ms. Counihan), a school board member, and we won't even go into the students and the parents.
The CBSD's policies CLEARLY state that harassment in ANY form is strictly forbidden. Forget my case. I have a WHEELBARROW full of Ms. Munroe being called every name in the book by CBSD students. Openly. Aggressively. And she is a CBSD employee.
What has the CBSD done about THAT, pray tell me? Same thing as every other issue. They scurry like cockroaches to avoid holding the most vile children on earth accountable.
I understand that the behavior and attitudes of today's youth are, in too many cases, horrible. But the answer can't be for a person who is supposed to teach them, one who is supposed to be trusted by them, to publicly post derogatory comments about them. What example does this set? Also, how does this display your trustworthiness and professionalism? Out of necessity, teachers, much like medical personnel, are held to certain professional standards. You absolutely have a right to speak your mind, even in very public ways. That is your choice. With freedom comes responsibility. You own the results of your actions, which in this case is the loss of employment as a teacher.ReplyDelete
This article does nothing but constantly describe the children and parents from Doylestown.ReplyDelete
That's a fantastic article and an accurate way to describe the current climate in schools. I was particularly interested to see the author reference Dweck because in my last year of staff development, the administration was trying to push Dweck's research supporting resiliency and the reinforcement of hard work and being comfortable with making mistakes along the way. Unfortunately, as with most administrative rhetoric, that was an idealized concept that wasn't upheld when put into practice. Teachers were told to stress to students that they should expect to make mistakes along the way to mastery and it'll only hit the grade a bit, but when students aren't happy with their grades in the end (since the summative pieces end up counting so much more), the teachers get hauled in and disciplined, upbraided, threatened, and/or punished for following the system. And then everyone is back at "start" with the kids crying to get a higher grade which teachers would rather give than get called in to the principal's office... If only we could break this cycle!ReplyDelete
Thanks for sharing!
You have some really good ideas in this article "Where are we going & why are we in this handbasket ". I am glad I read this. I agree with much of what you state in this article. Your information is thought-provoking, interesting and well-written. Thank you.ReplyDelete
Term Papers Essay Services