An interesting roundup of young teachers being fired for inappropriate web behaviour. Remember that Canadian principal who ended up resigning because he posted his questionable (content-wise as well as worth) poetry on a personal site? Well, this WaPo article kicks things up a level with teachers posting Youtubes of themselves painting with their asses, confessing to patronizing hookers, and calling their students crack babies. Many young teachers are themselves barely out of puberty. Do they have the maturity, much less the common sense, to comport themselves with dignity and composure in cyberspace?
t’s almost like Googling someone: Log on to Facebook. Join the Washington, D.C., network. Search the Web site for your favorite school system. And then watch the public profiles of 20-something teachers unfurl like gift wrap on the screen, revealing a sense of humor that can be overtly sarcastic or unintentionally unprofessional — or both.
One Montgomery County special education teacher displayed a poster that depicts talking sperm and invokes a slang term for oral sex. One woman who identified herself as a Prince William County kindergarten teacher posted a satiric shampoo commercial with a half-naked man having an orgasm in the shower. A D.C. public schools educator offered this tip on her page: “Teaching in DCPS — Lesson #1: Don’t smoke crack while pregnant.”
Just to be clear, these are not teenagers, the typical Internet scofflaws and sources of ceaseless discussion about cyber-bullying, sexual predators and so on. These are adults, many in their 20s, who are behaving, for the most part, like young adults.
I used to teach at a Canadian private school in Italy, back when I was 26. I was a proctor in a dorm of 36 boys, many of whom were seniors, and at one point they asked me in a house meeting why I was so good at catching them at their shenanigans. The fact of the matter was, at the time I wasn’t too far away from having pulled the same shit, and all I had to do was ask myself, “What would I do if I was two notches less clever than I am.” Now, I didn’t catch them at everything, of course, but much of what I didn’t catch I was able to still punish because of rats in their midst — kids susceptible hard looks, drummed fingers, and well-timed, Vaudeville-esque Colonel Klink eyes. Ah, the deadly combination of intelligence, experience, and betrayal. Suckahs. (Thanks, JG)