Friday, February 18, 2011

What we don't say can still hurt

I've been loosely following the story of the teacher Natalie Munroe who posted negative comments about her students on her blog. I've read posts about it on Facebook, followed some comment threads and watched a blurb from Good Morning America where she defended her actions.
She claims she has never said any of those things to her students.
I was disturbed by her attitude, but equally so by some of the comments on those posts from other teachers defending her.
One of Natalie Munroe's comments was, "There's no other way to say this, I hate your kid."
I read over the comments people left and began to think, OK, maybe they have a point. I'm not a teacher and don't know what it's like to do it on a daily basis.
So today I talked to Sean's teacher and asked her if she was following this story. She hadn't heard about it. I didn't give her specific comments because Sean was there as we talked, but told her the comments were very negative.
I asked what she thought, because I don't know what it's like to be in a classroom every day. And I know she has been struggling to maintain order in the classroom lately.
She was saddened by what I was telling her and said this woman should not be a teacher.
We talked about how facial expressions, body language, everything is conveyed to the children and they know even without you saying it.

I've been praying for her this week. She was having a hard time with one student and I have spent time in the classroom and know the struggles that child is having, and bringing into the room. She was frustrated and not sure what to do. Everything she had tried was not working. We talked about how there had to be an unmet need there, and she was trying to figure out what it could be.
Today she said they have had a great week and he is working on a behavior plan. He makes a goal for himself and when he reaches that goal he gets to choose what he would like to do, such as go to a special place and read a book. She said it is working, and she is pleased.
God Bless all the teachers who take the job seriously and try their best every day to be the best they can be to every child in their classroom.


  1. I totally agree with you and your friend - the feelings of the teachers do show, even if they do not say anything. I have a friend whose child is in a "magnet" school that also has "traditonal" classrooms to fill the school. She said the teachers and other parents refer to the "traditional" kids as if they were alien creatures that had no ability to learn or behave whatsover. They openly say "oh he/she is a traditional kid" with the same disdain as if they stepped in nasty goop. She said she was even helping in the library one day when a newly-hired teacher of a "traditional" classroom was asking the Librarian for book recommendations for her 2nd grade class. When the Librarian recommended books with the reading range of grades 1 through 4, she said "will they really be able to read - they are traditional you know." My friend said she was so shocked she was speechless... and the attitude rubbed off on her kids. Although she never heard the adults say such things in front of the kids, the kids still felt the attitudes. She wound up pulling them from the school due to the attitude.

  2. Montessori for Learning,
    Thank you for sharing this story. It is sad that some educators can't see the damage their attitudes have on children.