A kindergarten teacher in Memphis is suspended after saying awful things about her little students on Facebook. Tameka Gatewood threatened her students and mocked them in a public forum and still seems to think that is OK. Here's a memo: It's not.
First of all, the children were 5. So right there, there is no excuse for threats. I don't care if the kids are complete and total monsters. They are BABIES. But even more, kindergarten is arguably the most important year for students. My 5-year-old wakes up excited to go to school every single day.
She thinks school is fun and exciting and full of art projects and friendship, and about half of that is because of her wonderful teacher. The teacher makes all of the difference in a child's life and kindergarten makes all the difference in a child's education. So how will Gatewood's students feel when their teacher says things like this:
How bout I blasted both of them. The girl in my class hair is nappy almost every day and the boy wears dirty clothes, face nasty and can't even read. They didn't bother nobody else when I got through with them ... What do you think you're supposed to do? Bang! Bang! Shoot 'em up dammit! Just kidding!! For real tho -- slap their ass back then Bang! Bang! Shoot 'em up dammit.
What was she thinking? One could defend her by saying she was just talking to her friends and was joking. But, as the mom of a kindergarten daughter, I don't see it as a joke at all.
If that is what she says in public, what on EARTH does she say in private? She is threatening children. She is making fun of them. And her grammar and spelling are atrocious.
Any one of those things should be grounds for dismissal, but all of them put together are disturbing, indeed. Even if she never said a bad word to the kids, kids aren't dumb. The fact that she is thinking those things ought to be enough to convey to the children that she doesn't love them.
How dare she take vulnerable kids and behave in such a manner? I get that teaching is hard. I get that there is little reward and a lot of work, but I also think the bare minimum requirement to become a teacher ought to be a love of children.
Why would anyone who dislikes little ones possibly go into teaching? The only thing I care about with my child's teacher is that they treat my child (and the other children) well. The rest falls into place through good parenting and peers.
This is just so sad. This teacher needs to find a new profession.
Do you think kindergarten is the most important year for kids?
Image via woodleywonderworks/Flickr