A “Teacher” Gets It Dead Wrong – Again!

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

Her name is Natalie Munroe. She’s a professional teacher (“highly trained”, her own words in a TV interview) who used to teach (until this week) at Central Bucks East High School in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. And she hates her students.

Ms. Munroe rather idiotically flipped out this week, and posted a blog calling her students many things. She described various of her students as “a complete and utter jerk in all ways”; “rat-like”, and “frightfully dim”. She called her students “lazy whiners”. Of her students, she wrote; “Although academically okay your child has no other redeeming quality”; “The trash company is hiring”; and the bottom line in her own words, “There’s no other way to say this, I hate your kid”.

Sadly enough, she got it all right except for one little point – these descriptions fit perfectly Ms. Munroe and many of her fellow teachers, not her students.

This “professional teacher” thought since she was writing an anonymous blog, it would be okay. She claimed that the blog was just meant for a few friends. And she claimed on TV to stand by what she wrote. So be it. (By the way, she warned her students repeatedly to be careful what they posted on the Internet. Another case of doctor, heal thyself, I think.)

I can make an argument that Ms. Munroe is a victim herself of a failed system. I’ve written about it often enough. It’s very clear that education as delivered for generations in the United States and based on a critical approach to education, utterly failed and degraded most students. Ms. Munroe, just thirty years old and a relative newbie to teaching, clearly is herself the proud possessor of a grandly failed education. She is doing a fine job of passing her failed education along to her students. If that were not the case, then her students would be engaged, interested, productive…everything, in fact, that their “teacher” claims they are not. And Ms. Munroe is whining in her blog, is she not? And she is unconscionably lazy. Consider the extent to which she has failed her students, or to do any sort of job befitting the name “teacher”. Yup. Lazy.

Shakespeare, from Julius Caesar; “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.” Amen. The failure of her students, as is the case in schools across the country, can be traced immediately and directly back to teachers like Ms. Munroe, the methodology that they were trained to use, the dumbed-down curricula shoved down student’s throats, the fact that so many teachers are too lazy or stupefied or limited in intelligence to move past the garbage they were taught about how to do education in their college years, and to take their time and use the gifts given them to find better and more effective approaches to education…and the fact that students just aren’t that dumb!

Look up “lazy whiner” is an encyclopedia, Ms. Munroe – you’ll find your photo there. Congratulations, you’re the new poster child!

The student knows better, so be afraid, Ms. Munroe and her compatriots alike. (But they are afraid. The metal detectors at the school entrance attests loudly to their fear.) The student knows that he’s being locked up in a prison we call school and for a term of not less than 12 years to life. He sees precisely how teachers like Natalie Munroe feel about him. The student knows that his own interests, his passions, his abilities and skills, he himself has no place in determining the course of an education that should have rightly belonged to him.

Let’s be very clear about it. Almost all schools, public and private, are prison-like in many regards, and the Natalie Munroes of the world are the prison guards. Our children get little more out of school than do prisoners in jail. They have little or no freedom. Even the student’s “home” time is dominated by homework and other school nonsense. Their skills and minds are rarely challenged in any sort of productive way. In fact, when a prisoner is released from jail, isn’t he provided a new suit and pocket change? When a student graduates (and little more than ½ of our students DO graduate) High School, he’s given a piece of paper and…um. Good luck and God’s speed to you.

The year I taught with the Los Angeles Unified School District (1981-82), I heard numerous teachers say things about students that would have resulted in a child’s removal from home by the courts if a parent said them. I repeatedly heard such vile utterances from teachers. Students are often disliked and distrusted by their “teachers” and “administrators”, today. Why is this, really? Could it be because those are the very people who have failed the student miserably in nearly every regard, and so they are terrified that the students might see through to the truth someday, and do what prisoners do when injustice becomes intolerable?

Such teachers should hate and fear their students. There’s a “someday” coming. On that day, the students will decide that they’ve had enough of such injustice. Their parents (the bright and caring ones) will likely join hands with them. What follows has many historical precedents. If you are not sure how this all works, I would refer you to the French and American Revolutions, and Egypt over the past three weeks.

The school in question has dismissed Ms. Munroe from their ranks, pending apparently impending legal action. I suppose that’s something. Her lawyer (yes, she already has one) claims, since her school had no Internet policy, that they have no right to fire her. After all, she stands by her words. Good for her. She is at least honest enough to publicly state what she’s thinking and feeling, however noxious that may be. Why, if more teachers had her…um, lack of control, our schools would almost all close overnight.

And we’d see education start to improve in the United States.

A note to her students: I want to personally apologize for Ms. Munroe’s childish temper tantrum. I apologize for her fear and hatred, she seemingly can’t help herself. I want to apologize for the utter garbage she and other teachers, administrators, school boards, governments and schools have handed you in the guise of education. She and her kind do not speak for me, for your parents (I hope), or for people who cherish the promise of your intellect, your efforts, and your creativity. Please carry on, achieve great things and show her how wrong she is. While she has a tiny point that there are some lazy students, just don’t be one of them.

The next time you see Ms. Munroe, since she says that they are now hiring, she may well be working for the Trash Company. Just smile and wave and go on about your business. That will be an education for her.

As you probably know, I am an advocate for homeschooling. It’s my belief that homeschooling potentially provides a student with a vastly superior education than schooling in any form. This is backed up by a lot of numbers and research. I’ve taught for public and private schools, at the University level, as a private instructor in thousands of workshops, and as a homeschool dad running a homeschool group. Homeschooling by far works best for most students- and most families.

But I understand that many parents do not believe they can effectively homeschool. They’ve been told that they “don’t have degrees,” and that they “aren’t qualified.” This is all nonsense, of course. You’re legally not required to have any kind of a degree to homeschool your kids anywhere in the U.S. A lot of people who have degrees and who call themselves “professional teachers” are simply awful, and even destructive at what they do. A lot of parents…hundreds that I know of…have homeschooled their kids right into universities and careers.

In a serious effort to make homeschooling easier to do, and more commonly successful in terms of education received, I’ve authored my own curriculum. It took some 15,000 hours to write, over more than a decade of work, and is intended to replace the need for schooling a student from age 5-Adult Continuing Education. The curriculum is called Steps (or “CTT”). It has been used by over 20,000 students worldwide over the past 10 years. Hundreds of “success stories” attest to how well CTT works.

CTT courses are written in a way that gradually allows the student to take over his own education. Each course itself largely does the teaching, relieving mom and dad of that duty unless they wish to use our daily lesson plans in various subjects as springboards for family discussion and discovery – as many families do, every day. The parent has the job of making certain the student is working and has what they need to study. (And you’ll need to find a good math program for homeschooling as we don’t provide one. There are many.)

Below are links to our site discussing each level of curriculum, and every subject at that level that we offer. (You can start any level at any time. We don’t have “semesters” that start at a certain time, and each course stands alone well.) You’ll find free videos describing how every subject and each level works. You’ll discover free samples of every course we offer. Our site offers many other services and surprises, including numerous free courses you can download and try out.

Starter is for ages 5-6, and for preliterate students of any age. It focuses on starting to develop literacy skills, while teaching about various subjects. Starter includes full two-year programs in Reading, History, Science, Creative Writing, and Living Your Life, courses that develop life and study skills for the youngest students. Every lesson plan at the Starter level works to develop literacy.

Elementary is for ages 7-8, and for students who are developing literacy. It includes two-year programs in Reading and Spelling, History, Science, Creative Writing (which also teaches the parts of language at this level), and Living Your Life courses which develop life and study skills in preparation for more advanced studies to come.

Lower School (ages 9-10) offers two-year programs in Study Essentials, Reading and Spelling, History, Science, Creative Writing, P.E. Electives, and in various arts such as Animation, Music Theory, and Acting. At this level, students must read fairly well, and studies are progressively turned over to the student.

Upper School (ages 11-High School, and Adult Continuing Education) provides programs in Study Essentials, Reading and Spelling, History, Science, Creative Writing, Current Events, Literature Guides, P.E. Electives, and in arts such as Animation, Acting, Music Theory, and Music History.

For parents who wish to teach at home, but are intimidated at the thought, and for parents who just wish to improve the homeschool experience, we offer a ten course homeschool program for homeschool teachers, as well as several books about education and homeschooling today.

We want you and your children to win with homeschooling!

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18 comments on “A “Teacher” Gets It Dead Wrong – Again!”

  1. Good for Natalie Munroe the PA middle school teacher for her blog & saying it like it is!

  2. I’m sorry, but she did not say it “like it is”. She said it like irresponsible people, people who take little or no responsibility for their children, would like to BELIEVE it is, so that they can be “right”. We’re talking about CHILDREN. Do you really believe that children are “rat-like”? That’s what Munroe said. What does that say about YOU, then, that you believe that is “how it is”? After all, you were a child once, probably. Were you “rat-like” when you were a child? Perhaps you were. Your agreement with such patently debilitating and degrading statements says nothing good about you, and paints you as a hater and ignorant. People like her, and I’m afraid that people like like you as well, ARE the problem with education today, and are a large reason this civilization is falling apart. Shame on you. I can only hope that you think more of your own children than Ms. Munroe thinks of them, if in fact you have children. You are, of course commenting anonymously, just as Munroe thought she was. Very courageous of you. Don’t write again, your posts won’t be accepted.

  3. After reading the story on Yahoo! and your blog, I can sympathize with Ms. Munroe’s frustration with the godless educational system, which did not prepare her adequately. The ranting and name-calling is a shameful cry for help, and it does draw attention to the problem: The God of order, light, justice, encouragement and LOVE has been systematically removed from schools along with Latin, Logic and the Classics. The children have been largely abandoned by their parents in this selfish society to an artificial, disconnected environment, which praises conformity and stifles creativity; a system void of discipline and loaded with peer pressure. By the time a child is in middle school, his excitement for learning has been squelched so many times that he lives in fear of being labeled a geek or a nerd and strives to do the minimum.
    To paraphrase Thomas Jefferson, we need a little revolution in our education system.

  4. Cindy LaJoy says:

    I disagree with both commenters…the “rat like” children are a product of their prior experiences, which were provided them by a broken system. Perhaps by the time Natalie was the recipient of their apathetic behavior, they were indeed less than ideal in their attitudes and approach to education. But who caused that?

    I also find Molly’s comments to be a bit narrow, as if forcing children to be indoctrinated in some form of religious belief system is the solution as well. Sorry, I happen to believe that a “godless” educational system which would not necessarily represent MY beliefs, or the beliefs of others which might be quite opposite of my own, is preferable to being in a school where religious teachings are the norm.

    Latin…Logic…the Classics…all are seen as a panacea. There is no “one right way” to educate children, and therein lies the problem. We have a cookie cutter educational system which insists by its structure that all children are identicle, that all children learn in the same way, that all children have the same passions and abilities. As long as we continue with this assembly line form of education, you can try and teach the Classics and Latin until the cows come home, but what remains will still be uneducated, unengaged, apathetic learners. No amount of logic training will ever make up for being a mere number in a system so large that your identity becomes lost even to yourself.

    What about treating a child with the respect they deserve for simply being part of the human race? How about teaching a child in a way that respects his or her own unique talents and strengths? How about NOT approaching the education of any child as something that can happen simply because they are crammed into a school with 2000 other pupils and have information presented on a chalk board.

    If you engage a student, if you customize their education so as to show respect for their interests, their abilities, and their areas of weakness and strength, you will have a student who can learn anything…yes, even Latin. If we, as a society, continue to insist that all children are the same, if we treat them as if they are just another automobile coming off an assembly line where the same fender should perfectly fit thousands of vehicles, then we will continue to fail.

    Does recognizing the responsiblity of the system mean that we remove the responsibilty of the parent? Does this mean I can not see a spark of truth in Natalie’s observations…that essentially called children stupid and soulless? Sadly, parents are partially responsible, but maybe not for the reasons others might think. Parents are responsible for not recognizing what such a system might be doing to their child, how it gradually sucks the very spirit out of their sons and daughters. Parents bear the responsiblity for much, I agree, but they feel they have no power to change they system that are required to hand their children over to every September. They are unable to see there are other options or to fight to create those options where they live.

    And why is this? Because they are a product of that same system which numbed them well into adulthood.

    Oh sure, there are issues with parents and children today, there is enough fault to be cast in many directions. But to see a child as “frightfully dim” or “rat like” means that Natalie has lost her own humanity…something that I fear happens often in the hallowed halls of our schools these days. Children become the very rats Natalie refers to, winding their way through a meaningless maze which they have been ordered to complete.

    It is no wonder that so few of our students from Kindergarten actually complete their education. Some of them wise up and walk away, recognizing that there is little value to much of what they are being taught, or slink away as failure hangs like a cloak over their shoulders…and they carry with them forever the vestiges of that failure without recognizing that it was not they who failed, but their educators who failed to find the key to teaching them as an individual.

    Natalie is but one teacher of hundreds of thousands in this country. Many feel trapped by the same system which traps our children. locked into curricula they can not alter and using methods to educate which they know will not work because they see each child as an individual and understand that cookie cutter education doesn’t work. But those same educators remain in the system, trying their best to work from within to reach children in the ways that they can. Not all the teachers are Natalies…but sadly, I fear many secretly are.

    The system destroys not only those it seeks to educate, but those who are the educators.

  5. As usual, Cindy’s comments are well-considered and understanding. Needless to say, I agree.

  6. Connie Earl Robertson says:

    The perfect reason for why I homeschool my own children. I don’t want them influenced by someone so warped by the “system”. Someone who no longer has the capability of loving them and challenging them to challenge themselves and to step out into new areas.

    Are my children perfect? No, not by any means, but they have a love for learning that I would never want a Ms. Munroe to destroy.

  7. Pamela Krumvieda says:

    After high school, I wanted to be a teacher. I tried to go to college without support or money and just wound up burnt out and without a degree. I always wondered what exactly having a 4-year degree had to do with teaching; you either have the aptitude and passion for it or you don’t. I find it ironic that teachers go to college for 4 years and “student teach” for six months. Better that teachers would be fostered with an apprenticeship program where they are paired with great teachers.

    As for the students, by the time a teacher like Ms. Munroe gets her students they are irritated, jaded and dejected with a Lord of the Flies tick to their personalities. It takes a lot of skill to inspire these broken souls and she did not have it.

    Great teachers can be found. They are in parochial schools and home schools all over this country. It is unjust that I pay property taxes in Texas to fund these institutions of non-learning and neither I nor parochial schools get a dime of this tidal wave of funds. I am dumbfounded that $11,000+ is spent per child in Texas. I have two kids, man would that $22,000 come in handy. Not to mention that a good parochial school tuition is half this amount and for a better education!

    It is way past time to take away the bureaucratic monopoly of teaching where administrators that sit around and dream up more ways to hose children while taking lavish salaries and spending allowances.

  8. Hi Pamela,

    Well, beautifully stated, agreed, agreed and agreed! You just get out there and really teach, because what teachers are taught during those years of “teacher training” is how NOT to succeed as teachers. Look at the miserable results, they’re as clear as they could be.

  9. Linda Neely says:

    We all know the end result but I’m still trying to find the starting gate to create a difference for our youth. For my actual positive actions my school district trespassed me from my child’s school. I was a school advisory council member which was held at the school and they refused to change the location thereby terminating me from the position since I missed two meetings in a row (the only legal way to remove a member). I was given a designated parking spot to wait and pick up my child (I had actually school choiced him to this school and had to provide transportation) I was not allowed to exit my vehicle even from private property. My crime? The school posted on the window of the office available to anyone with a digital camera, every students full legal name, school id number, gender, race, date of birth, home address, phone number, how they got to school and if a bus rider the bus number and the route number and their classroom number and the teacher’s name. When I pointed out that they had violated FERPA, it was them vs I. FERPA found for my case and against the district. When educators will violate the rights of the parent what do they care for the rights of children? I have hours of video of the SAC demeaning the parents and the students. I attempted to share this with the School Improvement office who avoided any contact with me. There is no School Improvement as required by law, there just has to be a written yearly plan, it never needs to produce results, just exist. So if there are any readers here with any viable alternatives to only home schooling please respond.

  10. Hi Linda,

    Not sure what this has to do with this post, but I do feel for your travail! The system certainly seems stacked against any sort of constructive change, so we need to ask WHO PROFITS BY THE SYSTEM REMAINING AS IT IS. Someone does, and they are fighting hard. And who is profiteering from our failed educational system. That’s pretty easy, the list is long. Teachers, teacher unions, politicians paid off by teacher unions, text book publishers…you get the idea. Yes, all most school districts require, as you say, is a written plan – one that is never evaluated or revisited to assess its effectiveness. But then, I advise people to treat public schools with pretty much the same respect as the Bubonic Plague. Hang in there!

  11. christy lane says:

    Hi! I was wondering if you had seen this:


    It’s great reading your posts and blogs. Thank you for the thought-provoking and eye-opening information!

    Mrs. Lane

  12. Hi Christy,

    I looked it over when you sent the link. More disgusting behavior by those “good public servants”, the teachers. Thanks for the kind words!

  13. Ms. Munroe reminds me of a public school teacher whom I overheard saying she would never home school her children, because all the previously home schooled students she ever had in her classes were nerds.

    I took that to mean that they were polite, attentive, respectful, and eager to learn.

    Guess my kids are nerds, then.

  14. Hi Jan,

    Guess so. Mine, too. And we can only thank whatever stars look over our shoulders that such teachers don’t want to mess up homeschooling, as they have public schooling. Thanks for writing!

  15. I didn’t read all the comments here, but the person who said something about Latin and the Classics…who cares? How is that useful in society today? If you child enjoys those subjects — more power to you. My kids like some classics, but Latin? We did latin roots one year and they hated it. The point of homeschooling is to let your child blossom where they are at. Schools do not do that. Teachers can’t be allowed to let their students blossom. I’ve seen this when my child went for 2 hours to public school (she has special needs) and they just shoved her through a math curriculum instead of actually addressing her weak points. I asked her if she missed public school and she told me NO. She gets to read any book from the library, within reason. She can study up on anything which right now is animals and all of them…she has no shortage of her love of animals. She’s been studying them for years and will probably keep studying them. I think one day she’ll either have a lot of animals she cares for or a job with them. My other daughter loves to draw, so we let her do that as long as she is listening while we read our history lessons. The schools don’t let you do this. You are shoved in a box, told to follow stupid rules that make no sense, otherwise you fail. That’s sad.

  16. Hi Michelle,

    Greek and Latin are the source of much of the world’s most important literature, and many of the ideas that civilization is built upon. When we lose sight of the past and of our own intellectual and civic development, we guarantee failure tomorrow.

    That said, every child should be exposed to as many subjects as possible, particularly when young, and as they express interest in specific subjects, those should, I believe, become the core and even the entirety of their curriculum, particularly as they arrive at an age where they are able to make such a decision. By forcing each child into the same educational box, we guarantee many children will fail from lack of interest or a skill set better suited for other studies. We also guarantee that civilization, which thrives on differentiation and even specialization, will eventually fail as well. Stick to your guns! (And let your daughter draw her history lessons, maybe? Might be fun for her and a good way to integrate her interests and her studies.)

  17. Oh, Natalie Munroe! You very well knew what kind of kids were being “constructed” as you studied all those years. Look in the mirror hunnie, it’s not the kids fault, it’s yours! Ms. Munroe’s attitude towards her career allows us a deeper look into her own journey in the public school system. She too, is a product of her environment. And our government is “all hands on deck” for gun control. Yet our future is being “killed” educationally which down the line creates little monsters. If Ms. Munroe is sooooo upset about the hand that she’s been dealt, then why not become a part of the necessary change instead of bashing the innocent?!

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