Tag Archives: blog

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?

Hanging the Mom Blogger

I need to confess something. Sometimes I am afraid to read my comments on this blog. Sometimes when my phone pings and alerts me to another email, I’m afraid to look. Sometimes when I write a new entry in this blog, I pray that it won’t inspire conversation. It’s not that I don’t love feedback. I do. I want each and every one of you to tell me how much you can empathize with what I’m going through, how you were just experiencing such and such in your own household. I want you to tell me that what I wrote made you laugh outloud, or shed a tear, or how you can’t wait for my next installation.

So what is it that has me shaking in my pumps every time I write something new and put it out there for the world to see? It’s those people that use my comment space to tell me how much I am screwing up my kids. Or it’s those people that email me personally to tell me that I am way off base. It’s those that tell me that my holiday stuffing is too fattening, and admonish me for even serving that to my kids. It’s the insinuations that I am a bad mother. It’s the things that are written to me or about me that I can assure you would never be said if we were face to face.  And it’s the most recent email I received from someone who told me they were sad for my children. Why were they sad?

Because I was writing about my kids for the world to see.

Let’s forget to mention that I am a MOM BLOGGER. Let’s also skip the fact that, because I’m a mom, 90% of the events worth writing about involve my kids. And we’ll also ignore the fact that I do not use my children’s real names in this blog, allowing them to still have some sense of anonymity.  We’ll just set those three very important factors to the side and move on.

I have been writing about my kids pretty much all their lives. Of course, the several blogs I have occupied were much less widely seen, and were much more anonymous. So when the Press Democrat came to me and offered me a blogging position followed by the role of Santa Rosa Mom moderator, I accepted enthusiastically. But I talked to my kids immediately after accepting about the new role I would be playing. After all, I write about them and now people they knew and didn’t know would be reading it. Both of them gave the ok, and were excited for this new development.

I can’t tell you how thrilled the Taz is when he sees another story about him printed in the newspaper when they occasionally run my blogs as articles. Because he lives his life outloud and loves the attention, I can safely write about him to my heart’s content – the good and the bad. He reads much of what I write, and gets a kick out of it. With my tween daughter, however, I am a lot more careful. While she has given her consent for me to write about her, I am very conscientious about the precarious age she is at. Being that even the smallest thing can embarrass a 12 year old, I write about her a lot less. And when I do, I run it by her before I even push “publish”.

I suppose I can write a blog and not include personal stories from my home. I can keep things general, using fake names and situations to get a point across. Or I could just stop talking about my kids altogether and just talk about me. Boy, that would be interesting… Seriously, how would other moms be able to relate if I didn’t talk about my kids? I use my blog to reach those moms who might think that they are the only ones going through issues with their children, or who might see themselves as less than perfect parents. As a less than perfect parent myself, I put myself out there so that other moms can empathize. Or I work out issues we are having in case another parent has a better answer than what I am coming up with. I don’t see how I can do that without including my kids.

At any rate, I have a favor to ask of you. Please leave a comment. Or email me something positive every now and then.  I know that there are times when I’m screwing up, or the issues I am experiencing with my kids could be dealt with so much better, or I am fattening up my kids with something horrendous that I made myself. We all worry that our parenting skills are less than stellar, and that other moms out there are doing it so much better. And I am no different at all, especially since it’s on display and open for discussion. But I’m sure there are at least a couple of you that might have something nice to say. And I’d love to hear it. Yes, this is a shameless plug for attention. But it is always nice to know that someone is reading this blog and doesn’t think I am completely off my rocker. Even if you just give a simple “hello”, it will surely get me over that fear of hearing my phone ping, alerting me that I have something pleasant in the form of feedback.

I look forward to hearing from you!