Is blogging about 'whiny students' bad?

Everyone has gripes about their jobs.   Bad days happen, cranky co-workers, tasks that are begging to be done but being put off because…well, they suck.  Those who are bolder about job gripes have been known to send a status update out to the universe about the sucky aspects of their workplace.  Bolder still, some even BLOG about their grievances. 

That’s what a high school English teacher did. 

I don’t want to pick on teachers, but it seems that this is the profession being held to certain standards.  Here’s another example.   Natalie Munroe of Pennsylvania keeps an anonymous blog where she writes about her life, including the good and bad parts of her job – the bad namely regarding her students.  And let’s face it, the negative is a tad bit more interesting than the good.

For example:

“My students are out of control,” Munroe wrote in one post. “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.”

Quoting the musical “Bye Bye Birdie”: “Kids! They are disobedient, disrespectful oafs. Noisy, crazy, sloppy, lazy LOAFERS.”

And this one where she writes what she wishes she could add to their evaluations admittedly made me giggle a little:

“I hear the trash company is hiring.”
“I called out sick a couple of days just to avoid your son.”
“Rude, beligerent [sic], argumentative f**k.”
“Just as bad as his sibling. Don’t you know how to raise kids?”
“Asked too many questions and took too long to ask them. The bell means it’s time to leave!”
“Nowhere near as good as her sibling. Are you sure they’re related?”
“Shy isn’t cute in 11th grade; it’s annoying. Must learn to advocate for himself instead of having Mommy do it.”
“Too smart for her own good and refuses to play the school ‘game’ such that she’ll never live up to her true potential here.”
“Am concerned that your kid is going to come in one day and open fire on the school. (Wish I was kidding.)”

But some people are NOT giggling – namely the students who found her obscenity riddled blog that mocked those she was teaching.  Neither was the school that has suspended her without pay. 

Monroe did not use her last name in her blog (before she was found out, it appears there now), nor did she use any of her students’ names.  And she kept many of the details as general as possible.   Monroe argues that there were even a few positive posts about her job in her blog, but admits she also wrote negatively about students out of frustration, mostly over the feeling that students are getting a free pass at home and at school.

“Parents are more trying to be their kids’ friends and less trying to be their parent,” Munroe said, also noting students’ lack of patience. “They want everything right now. They want it yesterday.”

Her blog has struck a nerve on both sides of the fence – those who are cyring freedom of speech, and other who question her ethics as a role model for children.   The blog (that originally had only 7 followers – herself and her husband included) was initially taken down, but as of last night was put back up at natalieshandbasket.blogspot.com – though all incriminating posts are gone and all that is left is an article pleading her case: 

“What bothers me so much about this situation is that what I wrote is being taken out of context. Of my 84 blogs, 60 of them had absolutely nothing to do with school or work. Of the 24 that mentioned it, only some of them were actually focused on it–others may have mentioned it in passing, like if I was listing things that annoyed me that day and wrote without any elaboration that students were annoying that day.

In essence, people are latching onto pieces of what I wrote without A. knowing any back story, and B. knowing the whole story. The student or parents who took it upon themselves to dig up my blog–and be assured that that is what happened, as they were looking for it and didn’t just stumble upon it–are the ones who started this fracas, and they also made sure that only pieces of the whole picture came to light.”

What are your thoughts?  Should a teacher be allowed to gripe about her job in an anonymous blog?  Or does this cross the line completely?

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3 thoughts on “Is blogging about 'whiny students' bad?”

  1. She can gripe about whatever she wants. Students, some of the ones she teaches, probably, gripe about their teachers on their facebook pages and amongst each other constantly. Like the teacher who was forced to resign for having her picture taken with a glass of booze while on vacation, are these kids now eligible to be expelled for having a big mouth? Hardly. The ones who should be angry are the parents, and not with the teacher, but with their CHILDREN, for being the subject of such unbridled honesty. Not to mention the children themselves, for the same. I am reminded of a line from the movie “Quills” where the Marquis De Sade is admonished for producing a play that showed an official for the French Aristocracy in an unfavorable light; “We merely held up a mirror. Apparently he didn’t like what he saw.”

  2. I second darknight787 on this…I KNOW students complain about their teachers, so why shouldn’t the teachers have the same right?
    She kept her blog as anonymous as possible, and as long as she wasn’t naming names, she should absolutely have the right to vent in her blog.
    It sounds like parents and teens were REALLY upset due to some remarks that hit a LITTLE too close to home, making them realize that their glaring shortcomings had not gone unnoticed.

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