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47of74

Md. principal apologizes for setting up ‘smash space’ for teachers

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47of74

Teacher smash!

http://wtop.com/montgomery-county/2017/04/md-principal-apologizes-for-setting-up-smash-space-for-teachers-to-relieve-stress/

Quote

 A principal and her elementary school are under investigation after Montgomery County schools confirm she set up a “smash space” designed for teachers to relieve stress by using baseball bats on a broken rocking chair.

The “smash space” was set up on Kensington Parkwood Elementary’s loading dock, according to a letter to parents from its principal. (Courtesy MCPS)

The space, which was apparently on the school’s loading dock, is no longer there, Montgomery County schools spokeswoman Gboyinde Onijala said.

“MCPS does not condone this behavior by our staff.  It is counter to our mission and our values. We take this matter very seriously and continue to investigate this incident,” wrote Sarah Sirgo, the director of school support and improvement who oversees the school.

That sounds like a business idea to me.  Set up a space at a mall where someone can go with a baseball bat into a room filled with broken stuff and go to town.

 

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Cartmann99
46 minutes ago, 47of74 said:

Teacher smash!

http://wtop.com/montgomery-county/2017/04/md-principal-apologizes-for-setting-up-smash-space-for-teachers-to-relieve-stress/

That sounds like a business idea to me.  Set up a space at a mall where someone can go with a baseball bat into a room filled with broken stuff and go to town.

 

My creaky old brain swears that it remembers seeing a video a few years ago about a place where people could go and smash stuff for a small fee. I don't think it was in the United States, but I could be mistaken.

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CrazyLurkerLady

I remember seeing a video of a smash business. I'm thinking it was in Japan?

I'm not seeing the issue here. As long as they're not harming anything that's not already broken and it's out of sight of students, who cares?

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louisa05
54 minutes ago, CrazyLurkerLady said:

I remember seeing a video of a smash business. I'm thinking it was in Japan?

I'm not seeing the issue here. As long as they're not harming anything that's not already broken and it's out of sight of students, who cares?

Teachers are never allowed to be frustrated. Ever. Not even at home away from their students. If you are frustrated, you don't love your students or your job enough. 

I was just thinking about this today when talking to a tired, frustrated teacher who was more than ready for a weekend after a cold, rainy week that kept elementary kids inside unable to run off energy. Parents express no end of frustration about their own kids. I see it on social media daily. But if a teacher says that a room of 20 of them can be frustrating, they get told off. By the same parents. 

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Flossie

How about a punching bag that can be hit or kicked, a mini trampoline that could be jumped on or used for running in place, and a mat for yoga?  All completely normal, healthy, stress relievers.

While I've seen some teachers that shouldn't be teaching, both when I was in school and when my kids were in school, I've also seen some really great teachers that had to deal with students and/or parents that would try the patience of a saint.

A way to release negative energy is good for everyone.

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nastyhobbitses
10 hours ago, louisa05 said:

Teachers are never allowed to be frustrated. Ever. Not even at home away from their students. If you are frustrated, you don't love your students or your job enough. 

I was just thinking about this today when talking to a tired, frustrated teacher who was more than ready for a weekend after a cold, rainy week that kept elementary kids inside unable to run off energy. Parents express no end of frustration about their own kids. I see it on social media daily. But if a teacher says that a room of 20 of them can be frustrating, they get told off. By the same parents. 

This is one of the reasons I left teaching. The organization I worked with as a teacher (it was an NGO) was really big on basically saying "if you're not always smiley and happy and love all of your students all the time and make them all get amazing grades and succeed and do awesome super-involved projects, you're just lazy and not dedicated enough to teaching and you don't really love your kids". And I basically got zero training/support but was expected to be like that. There were teachers who were able to be like that and they'd get trotted out at conferences to talk about how awesome they were. I knew them and they were great people, but when I felt like I was just keeping my head above water and was just glad to get through a class where no one threw things at me, it felt like they were saying "look at how much better I am at this than you, you suck, you're not good enough". I relapsed into self-harm from the constant stress. I thought of killing myself because I felt like such a failure.

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louisa05
3 hours ago, nastyhobbitses said:

This is one of the reasons I left teaching. The organization I worked with as a teacher (it was an NGO) was really big on basically saying "if you're not always smiley and happy and love all of your students all the time and make them all get amazing grades and succeed and do awesome super-involved projects, you're just lazy and not dedicated enough to teaching and you don't really love your kids". And I basically got zero training/support but was expected to be like that. There were teachers who were able to be like that and they'd get trotted out at conferences to talk about how awesome they were. I knew them and they were great people, but when I felt like I was just keeping my head above water and was just glad to get through a class where no one threw things at me, it felt like they were saying "look at how much better I am at this than you, you suck, you're not good enough". I relapsed into self-harm from the constant stress. I thought of killing myself because I felt like such a failure.

I hear you. I was a teacher on the regular route. The big thing from the principals I had (5 in 16 years at 2 schools) was sitting in staff meetings praising certain teachers and telling us all we weren't as good as them. Some of the things they were praised for: being at school at 5 or 6 a.m. every day, coming in to plan all day on weekends, returning tests and assignments extremely quickly, posting grades extremely quickly, attending every damn school event, never missing work, etc...

Except that the 5/6 a.m. and weekend and every school event people all burned out and quit early in their careers or had no life outside of school. One would laugh and tell us his young kids cried when left with him instead of their mom, "because I usually only see them when they are asleep, so they don't know me". I couldn't laugh. It wasn't funny. Who the fuck wants to pour all their energy into other people's kids and neglect their own? I met a teacher once who told me that "since my divorce and the kids living with their dad, I get school stuff done so much faster with no one complaining about me working all the time"--she was happy about it. She chose being a martyr teacher over her spouse and children. Literally. I'm sure she was praised at staff meetings, too. Not directly for that, but for being the teacher devoted to school above all else (I did not work with her).  One principal liked to tell us that we could sleep in the summer. Right. And be sick and exhausted for ten months out of every year? Because sick, exhausted people are somehow better teachers? I tried to do it for the first few years, then after a serious illness, I figured out I was a better teacher if I got enough sleep and enough time for myself. Except that is not the definition of a good teacher. Our administrators like martyr teachers and our culture lauds them. 

And the grading thing...yeah, one of the science teachers posted test scores online within 30 minutes of giving tests. Except he gave ten question scantron tests. How much were kids learning from that? How much teaching was he really doing if he could assess it from ten multiple choice questions? How much critical thinking or analysis was going on? (Answer: none. Trust me. It was a small school; we knew what was going on in other classes. They were watching episodes of Mythbusters, memorizing some vocabulary and never even doing labs--but he graded things quickly and everyone passed with high grades so he won "teacher of the year" from the parents' group one year!).  I taught English. If I returned a stack of research papers to my college prep honors class within 30 minutes of picking them up, guess what? That would have meant that I didn't bother to read them, that I didn't actually do my job. Doing my job thoroughly was considered a bad thing. 

And don't even get me started on how some districts, because of budget cuts, make teachers do all kinds of things that, frankly, educated professionals should not spend time in their day doing. Elementary and middle school teachers in one district I sub in have to do lunch duty that is not supervising kids (it's better if teachers' lunch is not disrupted for that, but I don't object to it) but CLEANING in the lunchroom. I'm going to hazard a guess that most professional adults are not required to clean up after anyone but themselves in a staff breakroom. These teachers have to wipe tables, clean spills (mopping if necessary) because cuts mean not enough cleaning staff for that time of day. And they must do it all while following a strict professional dress code. 

I could go on and on. But the atmosphere of expecting teachers to devote their whole lives to school and to never struggle (or at least never admit their struggles) is damaging. And it is one reason that so many young teachers quit the profession a few years in. 

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LadyCrow1313

I think having a smash business is a wonderful idea. I remember seeing websites for a few in the Texas area (?), & it looked like a fun place. People could make art with some of the broken pieces, which is a great way to recycle. Not to mention relieving stress, which is invaluable.

:my_biggrin:

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mtc3659

I am a teacher. When I show that I am frustrated at my students for any reason, one or two of them will typically go and complain to an administrator. The one time it happened (about 2 months ago) , I got called into the principal's office and got told that I can't show that kind of frustration in class. Spark notes version of what happened: After the fifteenth time a kid asked if they had homework, I yelled at the kid and told the kid to shut up. The principal said I had to 1) apologize to the whole class for what happened and 2) call the student's parents and apologize for yelling at their child. I had to meet with the principal the morning of the apology to go over what I was going to say. (I still haven't called the kid's parents) 

 

I would love a smash room to go to so that I have a place to unleash my frustration. 

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Jug Band Baby
11 hours ago, mtc3659 said:

I am a teacher. When I show that I am frustrated at my students for any reason, one or two of them will typically go and complain to an administrator. The one time it happened (about 2 months ago) , I got called into the principal's office and got told that I can't show that kind of frustration in class. Spark notes version of what happened: After the fifteenth time a kid asked if they had homework, I yelled at the kid and told the kid to shut up. The principal said I had to 1) apologize to the whole class for what happened and 2) call the student's parents and apologize for yelling at their child. I had to meet with the principal the morning of the apology to go over what I was going to say. (I still haven't called the kid's parents) 

 

I would love a smash room to go to so that I have a place to unleash my frustration. 

Wow.  When I was a kid, if that would have happened and my parents were called, they'd have told me to listen to the answer the first time and stop asking the same question over and fucking over again.  And then they might have made me issue the teacher an apology.  

What are teachers supposed to do now when students don't listen to the answers to their questions or are dicks on purpose?

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mtc3659
1 minute ago, Jug Band Baby said:

Wow.  When I was a kid, if that would have happened and my parents were called, they'd have told me to listen to the answer the first time and stop asking the same question over and fucking over again.  And then they might have made me issue the teacher an apology.  

What are teachers supposed to do now when students don't listen to the answers to their questions or are dicks on purpose?

We are supposed to find the way to motivate them.

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Jug Band Baby
1 minute ago, mtc3659 said:

We are supposed to find the way to motivate them.

There's only so much teachers can do when the administration and parents don't back them.

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louisa05
7 minutes ago, Jug Band Baby said:

There's only so much teachers can do when the administration and parents don't back them.

Exactly. #ReasonsIDon'tWantToTeachFullTimeAgain

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