Friday, May 10, 2013

"You Got To Touch His Freakin' Heart"

A video of Jeff Bliss, a Duncanville High school student, going off on his teacher has recently gone viral. Here's the video if you haven't already seen it.

The teacher is now on leave with pay pending an investigation of the incident. You can watch an interview with Jeff here.  I've felt this kid's frustration before when I was in high school (and in college at times). Some teachers just hand out material for you to learn and the students regurgitate it on a test (I personally tend to forget what was taught after taking a class taught like this). Although he probably could have delivered his message in a more appropriate manner sometimes rants like these have to be expressed and witnessed by the public to get to the root of the problem.

I enjoy classes where there is interaction between the teacher and their students. Not every student learns the same and some need more involvement from their teacher. If the teacher hadn't brushed off the student ("you're wasting my time", "get out") the video probably wouldn't have gone as viral as it had. A student's success depends on all parties involved: the parents, student, and teacher. In this case Jeff was frustrated because he values the importance of a good education. He wants to succeed but feels that this specific teacher was not making any attempts to hear him out let alone teach beyond passing out worksheets (err, "packets"). I know the education debate is complex and I don't believe that cutting a teacher's pay (the "stick" approach) is going to resolve our nation's failures in education. I also don't want teachers teaching me or my kids with such an extreme lack of enthusiasm for their job that it causes an outburst like this one. At least in college you have some options towards choosing your teacher and I've seen some students, prior to their appointed registration time, research professors on I've personally never used the site prior to today and don't really plan to in the future but felt it worth mentioning. When a student like Jeff, who returned to school after dropping out, feels this strongly about the education system then you know there are issues to be addressed. If the kids (with the help of parents) are truly trying their best then the least the teacher can do is try to inspire the kids. Jeff said it best, "you got to touch his freakin' heart".

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