What is it with Teachers Lately?

March 23, 2006

I used to work for the local school district and with respect to teacher behavior…I’ve seen it ALL. I’ve been witness to great teachers that would get there at the crack of dawn and leave long after everyone was gone, and I’ve been witness to lame teachers, who couldn’t spell; let alone teach.

Rumors about conduct unbecoming a teacher? Heard ’em! Excessive discipline stories? Heard ’em too! Teachers that were inspirational to their students? Yup! Teachers that no one quite remembered their names? That too. Working for the school district was like living in a soap opera. Everyone knew everything about everybody.

But, what is it with teachers lately? Heard the one about Debra Lafave? She’s a middle school teacher in Orlando, Florida, who had sex with her 14-year-old student. How about  Caroline Kolb? She’s also a middle school teacher from Louisville, Kentucky, who bit one of her seventh grade students….not before kneeing him, of course. Have you heard the one of Albert Coleman Jr.? He’s a substitute teacher from Newark, New Jersey. What did HE do? Well, he decided to punish one of his students, Harlin Reyes, who is now 9, for not following instructions on his homework.  He asked the boy if he knew what “strangulation” was and made him stand on a chair.

Coleman took the looped end of a decorative string that was hanging from a light fixture, put it around the boy’s neck and pulled it tight by kicking the chair on which the child was standing. In his testimony to a grand jury, Coleman said he was only playing with Reyes and that the string was never around his neck.

Wow, talk about effective teaching methods.

In my kids schools, I’ve been told that I can “drop in” and audit the class whenever I feel the need to. I just may do that. I don’t know about you, but I would rather have my kids look up “strangulation” on Dictionary.com.