Here we go again! Another teacher is facing being fired over a Facebook posting. Melissa Cairns uploaded a photo of several students with duct tape across their mouths and the words: "Finally found a way to get them to be quiet!!!"
It sounds nuts. But should we really be firing this woman? I say we should be giving her a great teacher award!
See, the seventh and eighth grade teacher says it was all a misunderstanding. The Facebook photo was a joke, and the "friend" who reported it to her bosses didn't know the back story. According to Cairns, one of the kids in her math class asked for some duct tape to fix a binder.
Instead of putting it on the book, however, the kid put it on her mouth, starting a chain reaction of students who were kidding around, each affixing a piece of tape to their own mouths. They were the ones, Cairns claims, who encouraged her to take the photo.
And I believe her. Think about it. You have nine kids, all around 13 or 14, with duct tape on their mouths. Do you really think they'd stand for a teacher doing that to them in a punitive manner?
So she let them joke around. Good for her!
Kids like to have fun, and a good teacher knows how to use that in the classroom to gain kids' trust and funnel it into the learning process. My daughter comes home daily with stories of silly things her teacher had done or let her do, and inside I'm relieved. She's taken great strides in math and reading this year with this fun-loving teacher running the classroom.
I wonder sometimes if we aren't so focused on the stress of getting our kids through school that we forget the age-old saying about attracting more flies with honey than vinegar. Our kids' teachers need to have sense of humor if they really want to connect with our kids!
Did you have a really fun teacher when you were a kid? Tell us about them!
Image by Jeanne Sager