I am sure that by the time I am writing this, you have read about, heard about, or seen the viral video featuring Texas high school student Jeff Bliss going off on his teacher about having to complete another packet. The video is roughly a minute and a half, was recorded “undercover” by a classmate using a cell phone, and is largely out of context, although if other sources are to believed, her request for him to “quit bitching” and subsequently throwing him out of the room prompted his tirade. Her dismissive attitude comes off as a combination of her not caring about her students and her not trying to get flustered and overreact to his ranting (although maybe I’m assuming too much with the latter–I have been in situations where students are yelling at me and one of the few ways I keep myself from yelling back is to act casual).
No matter what the teacher did or what her behavior was before, during, and after the confrontation, two things are certain: she’s been placed on administrative leave and Jeff Bliss has become a folk hero. A smattering of praise via a quick check of the internet …
- “aaronburr,” commenter on the Washington Post’s Answer Sheet: ”Way to go, Jeff! You’re a true American hero.”
- HumanWazHere, WaPo commenter: ”GO JEFF GO!!! We need more people like this in the USA!! I Support YOU!”
- Zak Malamed, Student Voice: ”Hey, buddy! You are quite an inspiration & great representative of the work [Student Voice] is doing.”
- Lisa Nielsen: ”I commend Jeff Bliss for standing up for himself and all the other students who deserve a beyond-the-packet education … Our children are not our future. They are the voices we need TODAY. Our job is to listen and support them. When they say they can’t learn the way we are teaching (or not teaching in this case) we must hear them and do what we can to ensure they receive the education they deserve. When we do that we will have citizens who are not just good at sitting down and filling in packets but standing up and filling our world with those who are empowered with embrace their right to change the world.”
Now, there are many more tweets, posts, and comments that are similar. Many are quite different, ranging from John Spencer’s post about how we don’t have the whole story and therefore shouldn’t rush to judgment to Teaching Underground’s post about how all this really does is perpetuate the “bad teacher” narrative to more caustic comments about how Bliss was being disrespectful (although I’d say petulant is more accurate a term). Read the rest of this entry »