Guest Post by an American Teacher: Children From Hell

The following is a Guest Post by an anonymous American Teacher who does not want to be identified. I do not endorse the opinions expressed. I present them in order to stimulate discussion on an issue of interest to readers. Comments are, as always, welcomed. –Ted

I am not the norm.  In the free-for-all of other public school classrooms, there is all manner of dining.  Not in mine.  Food is for lunchtime and in the cafeteria. I do not allow students to munch in my room.  So when Dylan brought in a hoagie from Subway, a truly awful transgression, I told him to go to the cafeteria.  He ignored me, his body hunched in an obstinate fashion.  I told him again.  Students turn nasty when corrected. Dylan put the sandwich in the bag and chucked it at me.  My stomach lurched.  It is unsettling to have something thrown at you.  You can’t suddenly switch to having a civilized class.  And writing reports on students usually causes an uproar with parents. Students always have the last word and the version of the teacher gets scant attention.  With parents backing them, there is no price for students to pay.

I have met students like Dylan not just once or twice, but again and again.  These are the Children from Hell that it is my burden to manage and accommodate.

A false impression, that the Obama administration created the discipline problems in public schools that allowed for the likes of Nikolas Cruz to run amok, reigns among some on the American right.  It is true that Obama signed off on programs such as My Brother’s Keeper and used his power to investigate racial disparities in public school discipline; however, discipline problems were wreaking havoc in America’s schools long before he took office.

Sometime between when I graduated high school and when I began to teach high school, wisdom died.  The problems of the street and home entered the calm and boring classroom; student performance declined; the expectations of teachers were lowered.  The public schools changed direction because the bedrock of society, the family, was crumbling.  The younger generation depends upon the older to do the right thing, but today the moral authority of the parents is nonexistent.  In the absence of a sense of right and wrong, families stopped working with schools towards compatible goals.  They became adversaries.  Nothing is worse than a parent not supporting the school their child attends.

As any administrator will tell you, they can’t control the parents. All that they can do is go after teachers. Go after us they did.  We are saturated with workshops on classroom management and differentiating instruction. It is easy to see through the nonsense.

Mountains of gobbledygook have been produced on the subject of classroom management, the tricks that education consultants swear will get kids to behave.  By its very nature a political term, classroom management dictates the way people speak about student misbehavior in class.  Instead of the onus on the student to behave himself, the onus falls on the teacher to manage the class.  The public is seduced by the shift because it lets parents off the hook for their children’s misbehavior.   Administrators breathe the air of classroom management because they don’t have to discipline students.  They can send the teacher to a reeducation camp.  If the student does something wrong, the teacher is either not engaging enough or is not managing the students properly.  Maybe they are even looking at the student the wrong way and the student is feeling uncomfortable.  The same classroom management strategies are uncritically repeated in education classes and workshops year after year, but the information is of little use.  There are no tricks, just a teacher putting up with increasingly bad behavior.  Nevertheless, the rules of the classroom have been changed. It is no longer possible to say something critical of students. The term classroom management has even ensnared the teacher into believing that disruptions are somehow his fault.

At the time that the moral authority of the family lost its compass, we also began accommodating students, completely accepting their differences, from the socio-economic to the ethnic and cultural to the bad day.  A bad day can be very bad, very bad indeed.  It might simply mean that the student was concussed in a car accident the previous week.  The student may have trouble refraining from cursing out a teacher for the length of the concussion.  Or she may feel anxious about returning to school and need home-tutoring for a month.  Let me tell you, it is not easy being a teacher, having to accommodate all of these misfits…oops, I meant scholars.

When the moral authority of the family collapsed, dysfunction hit the schools. One thing that students never fail at is dysfunction.  Now it is up to the school to fix it. Upon arrival, students get to go to counseling, lounging in peach-painted offices instead of history class, sitting on soft cushions embroidered with flowers rather than upright in a chair in front of a heavy text. They can leave regular class and go to their own sort of personal AA meetings with a school psychologist or social worker.  Giving students this space, to ramble on about the problems in their lives, simply means the problems develop a stranglehold on them and their schoolwork never gets done.  To feel better about yourself you actually have to accomplish things.  Perhaps a little repression is not such a bad thing.  Maybe therapy should be illegal in the public schools.

Classroom management and accommodating students changed the political climate of education.  Expecting the school system to become the parent is an impossibly tall order, but as parents do less and less parenting, they more and more expect the schools to raise their offspring and then they want to dictate to other adults about how to do it. Parents want to be pleased and to please them you have to tell them what they want to hear or they are all over you like a rash.  These parents have broken the teachers’ authority and thrown the whole system of public education into question.

Although difficult to find, there are still mommies and daddies in the same home, but there are also parents who have affairs and leave home.  Others either have criminal records or are in jail.  Too many just want to be their offspring’s friend.  Because telling one’s child ‘no’ is absent from this parenting curriculum, lippy children are never out of print.  Children are not getting nicer and nicer.  It is not wonderful to be with them, particularly when they throw things at you.  The respectable and well-brought up do not come to us.  We are sent Satan’s spawn.

Perhaps it was the way that I looked at him, perhaps it was the tone of my voice, but nevertheless, that Spawn of Satan who chucked his food at me should have been compelled to say aloud, in front of his class, an apology.  Instead he was simply shuffled off to some other class.  No doubt the shuffle has left him with a scar.

Public schools have been manipulated into trying to cure familial problems; however, schools cannot mend the problems of dysfunctional students and their parents.  One institution cannot save the other.  And progress, new-fangled pedagogical and social ideas, is destroying us.

145 thoughts on “Guest Post by an American Teacher: Children From Hell

    • > You’re not drinking tonight, are you?

      Probably not. Maybe. Why? Are you buying?

      > Surely you mean your latest comment the other way around?

      I’m afraid I have no idea which comment you’re responding to.

      Here’s a tech tip. If you want to respond to a post inline but it doesn’t have a ‘reply’ button: follow the thread upwards to the first ‘reply’ button you find. Click that and your post will appear directly below the post you’re replying to.

      • > Don’t you mean homosexuals?

        Absolutely not, in fact some children *are* homosexuals.

        Homophobes infect innocent children with unreasoning hatred. They teach them that some people are inferior to other people simply because of who they love. They break up families and drive teenagers to suicide.

        Did you know that the most virulent homophobes are most likely closet gays themselves? They are so afraid that someone might call “them” gay that they lash out so as to avoid suspicion.

        Weren’t you questioning someone’s masculinity a while back? Being insecure about your sexuality and trying to compensate by buying lots of guns, bragging about your physical prowess, talking about violence, and of course, denigrating gays are all signs of massive insecurity – and that’s pretty much the opposite of true masculinity.

        I would expect a coach to set a better example for my kids.

      • Okay, CH,, I could be gay. Or I could just be an ultra-masculine alpha male.

        An effeminate man might be straight. Or he might be a faggot.

        Look, pal, I have gay friends. In fact, my medical doctor is gay. Isn’t that liberal of me?

        But the bottom line is that homosexuality is abnormal sexual behavior. Don’t force me to be graphic. Suffice it to say that the parts do not fit.

        Homosexuals should not be allowed to promote their agenda in the public schools and encourage young boys to think that they are gay when they have little to no sexual experience.

      • > Or I could just be an ultra-masculine alpha male.

        That’s even funnier than your comment about teamwork. “Alpha Males” don’t fear things that don’t harm them. “Alpha Males” are secure in their own skins. “Alpha Males” have no need to assert their dominance. “Alpha Males” don’t denigrate others in a transparent attempt to build themselves up.

        I hate to break it to you, coach, but you’re no alpha and you never will be.

        > Look, pal, I have gay friends.

        “Some of my best friends are black. But I wouldn’t want my sister to marry one”

        Heard it before. It was BS then, and it’s BS now. Go tell your “friends” that they’re faggy faggots and see how long the friendship lasts.

        > But the bottom line is that homosexuality is abnormal sexual behavior.

        God, I hope you weren’t teaching Boy’s Health when the deadly sandwich came flying towards your head. Someone that ignorant about biology should not be teaching anyone anything.

        Forget what your shaman told you, homosexuality is genetic. There’s far too much evidence otherwise, and not a shred of evidence in your favor. If you value superstition over science, go teach bible study – you have no business teaching school.

        > Suffice it to say that the parts do not fit.

        Oh Noes! Not butt sex! You guys obsess about butt sex far more than gay men do. How often do you think the average lesbian has butt sex? Gay men generally prefer oral sex to butt sex, but facts have never swayed your opinion have they?

        > Homosexuals should not be allowed to promote their agenda …

        Oh Noes! Not the Gay Agenda :: basso profundo organ chords ::

        I hate to break this to you Mr. Alpha Male, but the “Gay Agenda” is nothing more than a home, a family, a job and two cars in the garage.

        It is, in fact, no different than YOUR agenda. An agenda you would deny people based on nothing more than ignorance and superstition.

        I’m always in awe of conservatives’ ability to form strong opinions concerning things they know nothing about. Might I suggest that you educate yourself before attempting to educate others?

      • @CH

        “Forget what the shaman told you. Homosexuality is genetic.”

        I’m surprised at you, CH. The idea that genes determine our destiny is oppressive. Genes may provide a limitation, but they are not insurmountable obstacles. Are you arguing that human beings do not have the power to break their genetic chains?

      • Some say homosexuality is a choice; some say it’s an orientation that is intrinsic to a person.

        I say that whoever says that homosexuality is a choice can say this only from one’s own experience.

        If one is capable of choosing an orientation, he is choosing only from choices innately available to him or her.

        I had no choice in my own sexuality; my sexuality was chosen for me by my natural response to the opposite sex.

        Homosexuality was not a choice for me because my natural sexual response, as far back as I can remember, was heterosexual.

        Those who see sexuality as a choice must have an innate homosexual response to homosexual stimuli in order to need to consciously choose heterosexuality in opposition to their own innate sexual orientation.

        Therefore, those who say homosexuality is a choice, instead of an innate orientation, must have a homosexual response to homosexual stimuli.

        I can safely say with a great deal of assurance that American Teacher has homosexual tendencies because he says sexual orientation is a choice.

        Plus, he chose an occupation that affords regularly encountering naked boys and men in various stages of undress in locker rooms.

        Coach Dennis Hastert, was but one among the many openly anti-homosexual but secretly gay Republicans in Congress.

      • > Are you arguing that human beings do not have the power to break their genetic chains?

        Would you be so kind as to demonstrate chain breaking? Change your hair color, skin color, eye color or sexual preference. Just think – if you were bi you’d have twice as many potential sex partners.

        But even if sexual preference is learned – so what? It doesn’t harm you in the least, but you harm every boy you throw off your team.

      • @AT
        “Drop and give me fifty.”

        I don’t trust you not to try to butt mount me.

        I’m sure my virgin ass would look delicious to you. But you’ll die trying to take it.

        The gays who deserve a bad time are those who try to hide their gayness behind a gay-hater macho image like your role model and raper of boys, Coach Dennis Hastert.

        Sit down and do 50 google searches for “pedophile football coach”.

        Of course, I’m only clowning with you because you are such a clown.

      • @Glenn

        And I’ve slept with your wife.

        And then we went out for a Happy Meal.

      • > Did I kick you off the team 20 years ago?

        No.

        Did you evade answering my question?

        To rephrase: How does someone else’s sexuality harm YOU?

      • @Crazy H

        I might have to let them on my team, expose my players to homosexual health risks, and damage my own spiritual and emotional health.

      • Fail.

        STDs don’t have gender preferences. (but gays don’t risk unintended pregnancy.) And once again I note that you shouldn’t teach health class with that kind of ignorance.

        As for your own “spiritual and mental health” – the fact that you fear something that is no threat to you shows that you already have problems with mental health. Hatred is in no way a spiritual value (yes, I am aware that Christianity has institutionalized homophobia. That’s not exactly a mark in their favor.)

        What we have discovered is that your homophobia causes you to feel negative emotions. That’s no one’s fault but your own. If you outgrew it you’d live a happier life (and so would your students.)

      • @CH

        Men who have sex with men are at risk for anal papilloma. They also have an increased risk for HIV.

      • Ok, one more attempt at educating the teacher. (an occupation similar to banging one’s head against the wall, but with fewer opportunities for reward.)

        1) Woman can get HPV from vaginal OR anal sex, so that would make them even more susceptible than men. It is, in fact the most common STD.

        2) Men can get HPV from women.

        3) Men can get AIDS from women.

        4) One more time, takes notes if you have to. You guys are far more obsessed with butt sex than are gay men themselves. Gay men generally prefer oral sex and lesbians never have anal intercourse.

        5) Again take notes: HIV doesn’t care whether its host is male or female. The idea that it is a ‘gay disease’ in inspired solely by superstitious ignorance.

        6) Do your charges a favor: rather than passing on misinformation

      • Hey Pal,

        I’ve got two words for you: ROCK HUDSON.

        When I give my HIV lesson I put up his picture, you know, the one from 1985 after he kissed Linda Evans in “Dynasty.”

        We do a little research project on Rock.

        Then we have a class discussion.

        I don’t tell the kids what to think.

        I let them draw their own conclusions.

        Now, isn’t that progressive?

      • > When I give my HIV lesson I put up his picture

        So you DO teach health, in spite of valuing superstition over science. In blue states we try to make sure a “teacher” has actual qualifications before allowing them to “teach” impressionable young people.

        And yes, by putting up a picture of Rock Hudson you do indeed tell your students what to think. Why don’t you put up a picture of Magic Johnson instead? You tell them what to think by throwing gay athletes off the team, and I don’t doubt you denigrate gays every chance you get. You’re a TEACHER, remember? They learn from you, regardless of whether you’re teaching truth or bullshit.

        So, do you tell your ‘little darlings’ about condoms, or not?

      • @CH

        I follow the curriculum to the letter, but I do have a way of communicating that I get nauseous when I see a gay ccouple.

        I tell kids that we have no choice but to follow the law, but if we can’t get past our feelings of repulsion, then we can’t.

        Sickening things make us sick.

        When I do nutrition, i talk about how Chinese food has been Americanized, but over there bat paste and balut
        Are considered delicacies. Kids never want to eat Chinese again.

        I advocate for everyone having their own beliefs and opi onions.

        Now ain’t my teaching something else?

      • Last Round, Coach, you’re talking in circles.

        > if we can’t get past our feelings of repulsion, then we can’t.

        A little while ago, you were telling us how it was possible to get past our genetic programming, now you’re telling us that you can’t even get past your own superstitious ignorance.

        That’s … um .. interesting.

        Homophobia is a lifestyle choice. Nobody can put revulsion (or “sickening”) into your head, you can only put it there yourself. You are sick. A good therapist may be able to help, but ultimately the only person who can cure yourself is yourself.

        > I advocate for everyone having their own beliefs and opi onions.

        Two words: “Horse” and “Shit” – if it were even remotely true you wouldn’t be kicking kids off your team for their “beliefs and opinions”.

        > Now ain’t my teaching something else?

        It’s sure as hell not teaching.

      • Actually I’m very well, Crazy H, not sick at all.

        I spent the afternoon throwing flash-bang grenades with my buddies and tonight I’m taking my lovely wife to the casino and to dinner.

        We’ll be engaging in normal behavior after that; can you imagine , to be keen on someone after nearly thirty years of marriage?

        I want my students to find the same devotion and happiness that I did, and not be out cruising bars and bathhouses like poor dead Rock.

        Since this was the last round, I guess that I get the last word. Night, Pal.

      • @CH

        Hey Pal,

        Joy Reid. I guess I’m in good company.

        Maybe I’ll ask your fellow leftie to give a guest lecture to my class.

    • @AT
      “The idea that genes determine our destiny is oppressive.”

      Next you are going to try to believe you can grow wings and fly like Tinkerbell because to think otherwise would be too oppressive and depressing.

      The idea that the earth is not flat is oppressive, too.

      No you can’t fly, the spherical earth has finite living space, and everybody you know will probably be senile or dead before 100 years pass.

      True stuff shouldn’t be denied just because it’s oppressive.

      That’s not what they teach you in coaching school, is it?

      • @Glenn

        They taught us that we could be anything we want so long as we work hard enough.

      • @AT (AKA American Tinkerbell)

        Well then start flapping your coachly wings.

        But I suggest you not attempt your maiden flight from a 20th floor window.

      • @Glenn

        Can you tell me why, when most spiders die small and soon, that one great spider lived for centuries in the tower ofc an old Spanish church?

      • «But I suggest you [i e, «American Teacher»] not attempt your maiden flight from a 20th floor window.» Why not, Glenn – perhaps a little Darwinian winnowing would improve the quality of K-12 teaching in the US ?… 😉

        Henri

      • @Henri

        I’ve always seen myself as a bit of a superman.

        You, Henri, I see as the Swedish version of Rupaul.

        Disgusting.

      • «I’ve always seen myself as a bit of a superman.» Really ?!! What a surprise – one would never have guessed….

        Mr Burns put it best :

        O wad some Power the giftie gie us
        To see oursels as ithers see us!
        It wad frae mony a blunder free us,
        An’ foolish notion :

        Disgusting….

        Henri

      • @Henri

        And bully, blowhard, coward. Those seem to be your castle of words.

        Well, I better let you go line up for your next meal, Henri. Something tells me you’re not a six-figure salary coach.

      • «And bully, blowhard, coward. Those seem to be your castle of words.» Hardly a «castle», my dear «American Teacher», but more than adequate to describe you. It doesn’t take much…. 😉

        Henri

    • So … the guys in your locker room spend a lot of time talking about each others’ boners?

      Good on ya! My apologies – here I thought you were a homophobe.

      • Oh, don’t get me wrong, Crazy H. If I suspect anyone of faggy behavior, they’re off the team

      • So I was right. (Actually, I know’d dat – you gave yourself away earlier. ;-))

        Homophobes and other bigots should not be allowed near children, especially not as “teachers.” They inevitably harm young innocents and pass their filthy habits on to a new generation of impressionable minds.

      • “Oh, don’t get me wrong, Crazy H. If I suspect anyone of faggy behavior, they’re off the team”

        Only after conducting (I assume, in the name of your coachly authority) a sufficient examination of the student’s suspected orientation in the privacy of your office, or automobile, or closet, in order to confirm your suspicions.

    • «It was awful. Blood everywhere. Guy had to be fed intravenously for weeks.» I realise, (US) football coach that you are/claim to be, «American Teacher», that you are a functional illiterate, but «awful» hardly seems like le mot juste here ; did you mean «awesome», which I presume occupies the place in your vocabulary that «magnificent» would in that of the less intellectually handicapped ?…

      Alas, without details of time, place, and person, I find your little vignette of a day in the life (?) of «American Teacher» scarcely credible ; even in a place like the United States, «busting open [someone’s] head with a baseball bat» generally leads till legal repercussions. Doing so in one’s imagination, however, would be much safer than doing so in reality, and you give the distinct impression of being a safety-first person….

      Disgusting…..

      Henri

      • I nearly spent a year in a state penitentiary in West Virginia. Fortunately, Ma had her double-barrel shotgun and she shot all the sheriffs at point blank range while I ran through the woods and into Kentucky.

        Look it up. It was a cover story in True Detective magazine.

        I since have turned my life around. I started to play football, where my coach, a disciplinarian and enforcer, made me one of the best linemen in the entire South.

      • «I nearly spent a year in a state penitentiary in West Virginia. Fortunately, Ma had her double-barrel shotgun and she shot all the sheriffs at point blank range while I ran through the woods and into Kentucky.» More Walter Mitty – not of course, at a Thurberesque level, but rather at one typical for the blowhard cowering behind the sobriquet «American Teacher»….

        Disgusting….

        Henri

      • Splendid

        I emerged from the forest triumphant and now my team attracts enormous crowds.

        It’s spring practice and I must instill in my lads a fear of the shame of losing.

        We will win the league again.

      • Don’t be sad, Henri.

        I’m sure there is some sport that you can play.

      • «I’m sure there is some sport that you can play.» How very kind of you to say so, «American Teacher», but given that you lack all knowledge of your humble interlocutor, I find the above claim as vacuous as everything else you’ve posted to this forum….

        Disgusting….

        Henri

      • It’s all right, Henri.

        Even though you are clearly not a man’s man, we can still be friends.

      • «Even though you are clearly not a man’s man, we can still be friends.» Why should I – or for that matter, anyone else – desire to be «friends» with a blustering blowhard bully, prop full of fantasies about her/his toughness and «manly» exploits, who doesn’t even dare sign her/his name to her/his screeds on this forum ?…

        But perhaps you can find some other gundamentalists who share your rather peculiar reveries and who are as little tethered to reality as you are. Perhaps you and those pour souls could even call each other «friends»….

        Disgusting….

        Henri

      • It is just a bit odd that you keep responding to someone you find so disgusting.

      • «It is just a bit odd that you keep responding to someone you find so disgusting.» There are those who maintain, my dear «American Teacher» that one should not feed trolls like yourself ; I can understand this view, but disagree, in that I feel spurious arguments and rants should be met in order to prevent them from destroying a particular forum as a valuable venue for reasoned discussion. I very much appreciate Ted’s work and this forum, and will do what I can to protect the latter from a self-aggrandising bully, blowhard, and coward like yourself….

        Given your intellectual level, I don’t expect you to understand the above, but don’t let that bother you ; just continue to entertain us with your pitiful fantasies ob busting peoples’ heads open with a baseball bat and then escaping into the woods while your mother massacred the sheriff’s deputies who came to arrest you….

        Disgusting….

        Henri

      • There you go again.

        I am sure Ted is grateful that you are protecting his blog.

        I graduated sixth grade cum laude.

      • I stayed back twice in kindergarten.

        Then my teacher decided that she would be happier if she passed me.

      • «Then my teacher decided that she would be happier if she passed me.» Understandable, if true. But then again, you’ve never presented any evidence for any of those purported self-biographical vignettes you seem so fond of peddling, «American Teacher», so not even so plausible an anecdote can be taken at face value. The only thing we know about you, as revealed in your posts to these threads, is that you are a bully, a blowhard, and a coward, with a lively, if predictable, fantasy in which you play the part of «hero» by busting someone’s head open with a baseball bat or disposing of a «Son of Satan». I call bullshit….

        Disgusting….

        Henri

      • #Henri

        Done?

        Have you talked to me enough today or does Ted’s blog still need protection?

      • Okay, keeping repeating yourself.

        And guard Ted’s blog. You never know what might happen overnight.

      • «You never know what might happen overnight.» I know what happens overnight : a coward and a bully hiding behind the sobriquet «American Teacher» will post to this thread…. 😉

        Henri

      • «Go take a lap.» For a coach like Aaron Feis, I’d gladly take two. For a bully and a coward like yourself, «American Teacher», not a chance….

        Henri

      • «If Aaron Feis had the bushmaster, he’d still be coaching.» Not surprisingly, you miss the point entirely, American Teacher. But you are advised to keep that weapon with you at all times, for without it you are nothing (and not much with it either, for that matter)….

        Disgusting….

        Henri

      • «You forgot blowhard, coward, and bully.» I certainly haven’t forgot, my dear «American Teacher» ; nor, I see, have you…. 😉

        Henri

    • «Better report it now.» Provide the details of your heroic deed, American Teacher ; surely you wouldn’t want something that so well demonstrates your great courage and your amazing martial prowess as «busting open [someone’s] head with a baseball bat» to go unrecorded and unknown ?…

      Disgusting….

      Henri

    • What is there to report?

      Nothing here that doesn’t comport with the state of internet civility and the American way.

      Probably only some character trait developed in one of your character developing exercises.

      Nixon pardoned Lt.Calley because, after all, no one had explained to him that Vietnamese are human.

      Maybe no one ever told you that its wrong to beat someone insensible. Except maybe some of those overprotective parents you complain about.

      • A bit of a stretch to compare one head bashing to the My La I massacre, where the Vietcong were embedded with civilians.

      • «A bit of a stretch to compare one head bashing to the My La I massacre, where the Vietcong were embedded with civilians.» Ah yes, «embedding», as in «American Teacher» was embedded with human beings….

        Disgusting….

        Henri

  1. #Glenn

    Football is more important than you realize.

    It builds character; teaches you about the highs and lows of life; and helps you overcome adversity.

    “The British Empire was won on the playing fields of Eton.”

    • Football is far less important that you realize.

      I have heard those claims made before.

      So I ask, Why are all but the few who are the most competent players cut from rosters?

      Are the benefits of football good only for the best players, but not for the mediocre players? If the game is promoted for the good of the players, why aren’t resources available to extend these goods to all who they would be of value to?

    • «Oh. Ho-hum.» Yet another comment at the intellectual level we have come to expect of you, my dear «American Teacher». Quelle surprise !

      Henri

      • #Henri

        I picture you as short and fat, about sixty-five, scribbling in a one bedroom apartment.

        You remind me of someone whose head I busted open with a baseball bat.

      • Arthur: (coming forward and grabbing the man) Shut up!
        Man: I mean, if I went ’round, saying I was an emperor, just because some moistened bink had lobbed a scimitar at me, they’d put me away!
        Arthur: (throwing the man around) Shut up, will you, shut up!
        Man: Aha! Now we see the violence inherent in the system!
        Arthur: SHUT UP!
        Man: (yelling to all the other workers) Come and see the violence inherent in the system! Help, help, I’m being repressed!
        Arthur: (letting go and walking away) Bloody peasant!

      • «You remind me of someone whose head I busted open with a baseball bat.» As I noted previously, a blowhard bully and coward, who seems to find it necessary to tell us how «tough» he is. You’ve just confessed to an offence, which, dependent upon which US state in which you reside, may well be a capital crime. Perhaps you would care to publish the details, so that they can be reported to law enforcement – or is the above rather yet another instance of your Walter Mitty fantasies ?…

        Disgusting….

        Henri

      • @ Henri

        I saved a screen shot of this veiled threat and admission of a crime.

        This is not something we would want to be later denied, is it?

      • > someone whose head I busted open with a baseball bat.

        If an airborne hoagie constitutes a criminal act then baseball batting should be a hangin’ offense.

        Could it be that the Other Teacher’s strong opinions concerning proper behavior apply only to other people?

      • «This is not something we would want to be later denied, is it?» Thanks, Glenn, but my impression of the poster hiding behind the sobriquet «American Teacher» is that of a less likeable Walter Mitty – a blowhard, a bully (when there’s no danger to her/himself), and a coward, who feels compelled to post her/his depraved fantasies to this forum. I doubt sincerely that s/he ever «busted open» anyone’s head with a baseball bat,k after all, s/he couldn’t even chuck back a hoagie…. 😉

        What I do wonder is if Ted, who after all needs a side income, is inviting this person to post here as part of a therapy. In that case, I do hope that he – i e, Ted – is getting well paid….

        Henri

      • “Sometime between when I graduated high school and when I began to teach high school, wisdom died.”—AT

        Did this bashing of a head with a baseball bat take place before or after you noticed that wisdom was missing ?

        If before, you might be able to plead some version of insanity.

      • @Glenn – NICE!

        I saw the opportunity when the comment was first posted, but didn’t see a way to bend it to my ends.

        Carry on.

  2. “The following is a Guest Post by an anonymous American Teacher who does not want to be identified. I do not endorse the opinions expressed. I present them in order to stimulate discussion on an issue of interest to readers. Comments are, as always, welcomed. –Ted”

    Thank you, Ted.

    I spent many years in a political discussion group that would reject as right wing many of the topics I wanted to discuss.

    My position was, and is, that if a person only reads and hears things he agrees with he cannot sustain resistance to a political agenda which is constantly evolving in a reactionary manner.

    What the encounter with political reactionaries should do is develop an understanding of political reactionaries’ personal and systemic dynamics, so as not to fear encountering their rhetoric outside the authoritarian institutions in which they thrive.

  3. Crazy H, You are making my point for me and are too stubborn-headed to realize it. Reread paragraphs 7-9 so I do not have to rephrase myself.

    The only prerequisite for a teacher is Plato’s Republic, not various theories of the mind.

    By high school, a student is no longer a child. You even used the word adolescence. Some coddling the student and blaming the teacher. It is tiresome.

    I am a teacher, not a psychologist. If you want me to be both, double my six-figure salary.

    “Conduct may be founded on the hard rock or the wet marshes, but at some point I don’t care what it’s founded on.” Get that? I don’t care.

    • It’s typical of the authoritarian personality to feel persecuted when their authority is challenged.

      As a coach you are surrounded with people who flatter you with their consent to your authority.

      The authoritarian impulse is to coerce “consent”.

      The authoritarian’s lament is that his authority is limited to those who recognize it through their open consent, and find openly non-consenting persons to be a threat to his authority, and a source of endless irritation.

      It is a symptom of our society’s degeneration that coaches are among the highest compensated among state employees in state schools.

      The authoritarian personality is in itself a symptom of social degeneration needing a cure. Resistance to subjection to coerced “consent” is a reasonable response to the authoritarian impulse by the non-consenting person.

      Children who have not yet been broken to systemic authoritarianism are seen in this system as a problem.

      The liberty of the People (upper case P) is assured by the power (specifically, the state monopoly of legitimate use of active aggressive violence, and the corporate economic passive violence) of their unified opposition to the liberty of the people (lower case p).

      • @Glenn –

        ay-Yup. I’ve known a lot of ’em. They often wind up in positions of petty power.

        High school coaches, middle school gym teachers and boy scout leaders often exhibit the same traits. They desperately want to be leaders of men – but men won’t follow them so they abuse boys.

        Makes ’em feel all manly at the expense of f’ing up another generation of boys (who go on to become embittered gym teachers themselves, thereby perpetuating the cycle.)

      • A great football coach has to be authoritarian. Football is the ultimate team sport.. Eleven guys molded into one team and no one goes off-script or it’s over.

      • @ CH

        I had to eat lunch with now Certified Pedophile and then, or soon to be, Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert many years ago (management suggested that the engineering department attend) because Hastert’s “safe harbor legislation” was important to the company’s stock price.

        Among people I worked with were some who went to the school when and where he coached, and who still referred to him lovingly as “The Coach”.

        My criticism of him was not well received when speaking about his “Contract on America” as I referred to it, at the post-lunch love fest.

        Some were actually very very angry that I would ruin the afterglow they bathed in after having been graced by his presence.

        Hastert actually cashed in on his coach-ness to be elected from his district, and made enough money to spend $3,000,000 to buy the silence of one of his former student-pedophlia objects.

        Only in a totally corrupt society could a coach enter Congress—the only native criminal organization, said Mark Twain—based on his “Coach-ness”

      • @ American Teacher

        “A great football coach has to be authoritarian. Football is the ultimate team sport.. Eleven guys molded into one team and no one goes off-script or it’s over.”

        I agree with you here.

        But football is not important enough to inflict its intrinsic authoritarianism on society at large.

      • “A great football coach has to be authoritarian.” “Football is the ultimate team sport.”

        The inherent contradiction in these two statements should be obvious to all. The fact that it isn’t is amusing to some.

        Football teaches the quarterback that he’s a superstar, that running and throwing are important in real life. That he can cut classes, bang cheerleaders and still get good grades.

        Then he graduates and finds out that real life isn’t like that. He’s qualified for only unskilled labor and has permanent brain damage. The hot chicks are no longer interested and he no longer gets a free pass on life.

        At the same time, the jock culture de-emphasizes academics and teaches the truly smart kids that they are total losers. Nobody even notices when one of them wins the state chess championship, let alone throw them a pep rally.

        Yeah, that’s some real good teachin’ there. But the important part is that The Coach and The School made some money off of the QB.

    • Okay, I re-read that drivel. “it is not easy being a teacher, having to accommodate all of these misfits”

      Coupled with “Get that? I don’t care.”

      Yes, I *do* get that you don’t care. It makes it quite obvious that you are utterly unqualified to be a teacher. Would you take your car to a mechanic who hated cars? One who didn’t care whether your car ran or not? (“I’m a very good mechanic – it’s the car’s fault that it can’t be fixed. Or the owner’s. Don’t blame me because I get a six figure salary for not doing my job.”)

      Why the hell would anyone entrust a *child* (your word) to someone with your attitude? You’re not a teacher, at best you’re a trainer. One who trains sixteen-year-olds to walk off concussions; who trains “jocks” to believe that running and throwing are viable career paths; one whose students wind up pumping gas once they find out they don’t have what it takes to go pro. But hey, you don’t care – you’re far better paid than teachers who actually teach students marketable skills.

      There’s a reason red states routinely fall behind blue states in academic pursuits. If you want to understand why – reread paragraphs 7-9.

  4. Being hit with a hoagie, Crazy H, is not adolescent behavior. It is criminal behavior. It is an assault.

    How much jail time should Lucifer’s son get?

      • Students, school administration, and parents on one side.

        You by yourself on the other.

        You don’r seem to be winning this battle.

        I hate to see anyone so chronically miserable.

        I can only hope for your sake that you are not possessed by some failed ideology that keeps you from joining a union.

        You owe it to yourself, and others who find themselves in the same situation to take a productive action.

        Violence is popping like popcorn in this failed culture.

        Whenever I hear news of violence in a workplace, or school, etc., I reserve judgement.

        There are certainly enough toxic relationships in this society’s failed culture to tip the emotionally weak into a futile response that one or the other (victim or victimized) should anticipate regretting.

      • I do and the NEA (National Education Association) is very powerful; whether it is a real union or a student advocacy group is another matter. It often seems as though it goes along with what parents want.

        I must be giving the wrong impression. I’m not fighting battles. I’m getting paid and not getting hurt.

        Life is good.

    • Throwing a temper tantrum as well as a sandwich is childish behavior, par for the course given that you treat him as a child.

      He should do time in direct proportion to the damage done. e.g. Was the school nurse able to stop the bleeding or did you have to go to the hospital?

      OTOH, you should pay for his hoagie and attempt to find out the underlying problem rather than fighting the symptoms. Fighting symptoms doesn’t seem to be working out for you; can’t hurt to try a different approach.

      I am reminded of a teacher from my youth. He was an upstanding Christian man, inordinately proud of his humility, and he always wore white leather shoes and a white leather belt. (This was the sixties, after all)

      He was a strict authoritarian with a large and fragile ego. He hated me ‘cuz smartass. Funny thing was, I got along just fine with my advanced math & science teachers. They didn’t look down their noses at me and I reacted differently to them. Maybe “child psychology” has something to do with it, I wouldn’t know as I’m not a teacher.

      But I digress, one day this man publicly scolded a student for showing up to class in a white T Shirt and jeans. “That’s UNDERWEAR,” he proclaimed in the same disgusted tone he’d have used if the kid shat on the floor. He lectured him – loudly – for a solid five minutes. The kid just hung his head and didn’t say a word during the entire tirade.

      What the teacher didn’t know & didn’t bother to find out was that the kid was from a very poor family. He didn’t HAVE any other shirts to wear, but Mr. Good Christian was on a Crusade against the Failed Youth of the Sixties and fully intended to set the world straight.

      The kid celebrated his 21st birthday in jail, and I’m sure that Mr. G.C.patted himself on the back and told himself he’d been right all along.

      I see it more in the nature of a self-fulfilling prophecy. The teacher saw Satan’s spawn, treated him as such and surprise! he turned into Satan’s Spawn. Perhaps the kid’s parents failed him – but that’s not the kid’s fault. Too bad there wasn’t some other adult in his life to help him out.

      • I’m in a wheelchair, covered in ketchup.

        Stop it, Crazy H.

        I’m a teacher, not a psychologist. Psychology is the bane of this profession.

        The 1960s are over and I don’t wear leather. I also don’t make personal comments to students and I don’t go on tirades.

        Lucifer’s child didn’t wear raggedy clothes; in fact, he was the son of a prominent man in town. Children of prominent people have their problems, too, but you are making this an issue of economic class and it was not.

        The more that I read from Ted’s fans, the more that I realize how removed you are from public education and what goes on in the schools. Let me assure you that all of my colleagues think as I do and that I am comparatively kind about it.

      • > you are making this an issue of economic class and it was not.

        Fail.

        It is an issue of a teacher not bothering to understand a child’s needs before applying his idea of “comparative kindness.” In my story, the child’s problem was economic disadvantage; in your story it may indeed be affluenza. (Note that conservatives’ policies exacerbate both problems)

        > I don’t go on tirades.

        The available evidence suggests otherwise.

      • > Psychology is the bane of this profession.

        Fail.

        Psychology is a prerequisite for this profession.

  5. It is not your insults, Henri.

    It is the amount of time you invest in reading and responding to me that leads me to believe that I am of great importance in your universe.

    • «… that leads me to believe that I am of great importance in your universe.»

      «Psychology is the bane of this profession.» Certainly when exercised by persons like yourself, «American Teacher», with no competence in the field. Had you possessed such – and a modicum of intellectual honesty (to the degree that the adjective is applicable here) – you would realise that it it is not you who are important, but the warped doctrines you attempt to peddle here. But exaggerating one’s own importance is one of the hallmarks of a subsolid personality – cf the state of US politics today…. 😉

      Henri

      • «What doctrine? Do explain.»I’d suggest you read your screeds on this forum to find the answer to your own question, American Teacher, but I fear such a recommendation would, in this case, be considered cruelty to a person with severe mental disabilities….

        Henri

  6. “The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.”
    Socrates (469–399 B.C.)

  7. Ted, does this guy owe you money or something? I can’t think of another explanation for continuing to give his sophomoric, bitter rants a platform. The vitriolic overgeneralizing and hyperbole do not prompt thoughtful, even heated, discussion, but merely a lot of tedious schoolyard sniping (“I know you are, but what am I?”). Should you choose to continue to publish his acrimonious tirades, I will not waste any more of my time reading them. I’m sorry I read this one — I should have known better.

    • I have been waiting all day for you to jump in, Lise.

      So you’re not going to read American Teacher again? Well, I’m sure that’s keeping Ted up tonight.

      I read your ratings on Rate My Professor. Apparently, you need some work in the hotness category. May I suggest a good moisturizer? And that shade of blonde is much too light. Nothing wrong with grey for a woman your age.

      Before you get your panties in a knot, remember that if you dish it out, then you have to take it. Didn’t they teach you in graduate school to respond to an argument instead of name call?

      • «I have been waiting all day for you to jump in, Lise.» No doubt you did, «American Teacher», no doubt you did – you obviously have no better ways to pass your time. If persons like yourself are indeed teaching students in the United States, one understands why K-12 results in that country are as poor as they are and why it so desperately needs to import talent from the rest of the world….

        Henri

      • > respond to an argument instead of name call?

        “Children from Hell”

        “misfits”

        “… like a rash. ”

        “Satan’s spawn.”

        “Spawn of Satan”

        “dysfunctional students ”

        One way to teach is to lead by example. Just sayin’

    • Or perhaps, Iburanen, it’s Ted who owes this person money ? If Ted wished to present a «conservative» point of view, in contrary to the tone prevailing on these threads, one would think he could have found someone, who, unlike «American Teacher», is capable of presenting such a Weltanschauung in a meaningful fashion….

      A mystery….

      Henri

      • And I’ve been waiting to hear from you too, Henri. Three messages! I take that as a compliment. American Teacher has become your essential reading.

        You need to reread what I wrote at a more intellectually sturdy time. The piece was not about me. The piece was about students and how schools have been transformed by them. My well-turned description illustrates that point.

        Throwing something at someone else is not an indignity. It is an assault. Outside of a school building, one would get arrested. Assaults on teachers have become ordinary in the United States.

        I’m no Socrates, just an ordinary mortal doing the best I can. You are ordinary, too.

        Neither Sweden nor the United States needs to do any more importing. Your foreign minister has finally admitted that Sweden has taken in more migrants than it can handle. I have sincere compassion for the suffering of Swedes since Olof Palme began the transformation of that nation.

        Mors proditoris.

      • «I take that as a compliment. American Teacher has become your essential reading.» Subsolid personalities like yourself are often compelled to interpret criticism as praise and to consider themselves of great importance in the scheme of things in order to avoid just the sort of psychic collapse to which I referred earlier. A textbook case, of which I’ve seen no few while serving as a senior consultant in forensic psychiatry. Let us hope that despite the grave pathology you reveal on these threads, we shall not be forced to learn about your prowess with firearms when confronted with one hoagie sandwich too many in your classroom….

        Henri

      • «What are you insinuating?» That you, my dear «American Teacher», are a blowhard bully and coward and possess the understanding of the Latin language that could be expected of a (US) football coach….

        Henri

  8. I am familiar with Freire’s very famous book and how it has been misused by education schools to further an agenda.

    American students are not oppressed in their high schools; what happens after graduation is entirely another matter upon which I have not commented.

    While in school, students are catered to, coddled, and pampered. They question everything to the point where you find yourself sounding ridiculous by engaging in a conversation. Ultimately, one would hope, there is material to be mastered and skills to acquire. If it is all about challenging authority, they have learned that where it all begins, at home.

    My piece was about an obnoxious student who has been enabled by the adults in his life. Sadly, many students return to our school and ask, “Why weren’t you harder on us?”

    • Teachers generally are an oppressed population.

      It’s hell working for a wage, having to kiss up to the wage payers and their little darlings. It sounds like the complaints made by restaurant wait staff.

      The statewide strikes in West Virginia, state capital building occupation in Madison, Wisconsin, parent supported strikes in Chicago, recognize this and the list goes on.

      I suppose you have school district supplied resources sufficient for your, and your students’ needs.

      I live in a school district where the schools are listed as an asset boosting property values. Some of the kids here seem to be afflicted by affluenza.

      A while back a medical technician and his girlfriend, while walking home, a block from my house, from a Forth of July fireworks show were attacked by some “good boys who were going to go to college” in the fall.

      Comments in the local newspaper defended the “good boys” behavior, this which resulted in some serious knife wounds inflicted on the three attackers by the attacked.

      The defensive knife wounds inflicted on the “good boys”, which were found to be justified in court, might be one of the best lessons these affluent “good boys” learned before starting college.

      One size doesn’t fit all.

      • I don’t consider myself oppressed. I consider myself privileged. I could be working at the 7/11 with an untreated injury. I am aware of the perils of capitalism.

        Fortunately, I have a battery of tricks to stave of complaints. They fall under the umbrella of “giving in”. My policy does students no good.

        I’m glad that my colleagues in other states will receive better compensation.

        The biggest need that our school district has and which it cannot satisfy is desire. Our students do not want to learn. They expect good grades, but that is not the same thing.

        And all of them are treated like royalty.

  9. “When the moral authority of the family collapsed, dysfunction hit the schools.”

    When the moral authority of [corporations, government, veterans of WWII, Wall Street, law, etc …] collapsed, it pitted teachers against a society where people would just go through the motions to keep an income.

    How can teachers properly indoctrinate students into a belief system that must be taken with a pinch of salt in order to avoid becoming its next victim?

    Don’t be the teacher who gets too close to revealing social truths if the offer of hemlock doesn’t appeal to you.

      • A friend of mine, a PHD who does some teaching with young people, spoke of a book by Paulo Freire, “Pedagogy of the Oppressed”.

        I read the book.

        Freire tried to engage with students by having them think about and discuss aspects of things they encounter as young people in preparation for their lives as adults. He described authoritarian teaching methods as the “banking model”, where teachers should make deposits into the brains of children rather than to elicit the student’s understanding from the student’s own thought process.

        America may be too far gone to allow children to develop an understanding of a world that defies comprehension.

        It can be very dangerous to invite students’ criticism of a world, one if not created by living adults, but still one conserved by them.

        I tried to get a few adults acquainted with Freire’s perspective in a political discussion group I once participated in, but most adults’ thinking is too set and rigid to do an evaluation of the world as it is in the present.

  10. Employment counseling tout de suite ? But I suspect in the case of this particular whinger, it’s already far too late and that early retirement – and the removal of all her/his firearms, gas bombs, etc, so that s/he cannot take her/his resentment out on the community at large in the most violent manner – is the only alternative….

    Henri

      • «Perhaps you would like to comment on the content of the piece, instead of on me.» But my dear «American Teacher», your «piece» – like everything you post here – is all about you ; how you were subjected to the immense indignity of having a hoagie chucked at you by a student, whom you characterise as «Son of Satan» (which appellation perhaps says more than you care to reveal about your «teaching»). But as you yourself point out, you are no Sokrates and γνῶθι σεαυτόν is foreign to you, so I understand your failure to make the connexion…. 😉

        Henri

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