Being a teacher is a tough job. Working with energetic and sometimes rebellious kids takes its toll, as does a relatively small salary, pressure from administrators to produce test scores, and overprotective parents.
But while teachers are famous for their patience, a major requirement for the job, one 6th-grade teacher in Texas finally had enough of what she felt was disrespect from all sides and went online to talk about it.
While Julie Marburger expected her Facebook rant to draw lots of criticism, the actual response from fellow teachers, parents, and her own school’s administration showed that she had put her finger on something many people were already thinking.
A middle-school teacher in the Bastrop Independent School District, Marburger described herself as an enthusiastic teacher who had been worn down by the almost total lack of discipline on the part of the students and the sometimes tacit, sometimes explicit encouragement of their bad behavior from their parents.
Nothing in her biography predisposed her toward being hostile to children, far from it. As her profile on the Cedar Creek Intermediate School website read, per the Daily Mail, “I am married and have four daughters and four step-kids. My ‘baby’ is a fluffy Maltese named Tobie, who is a girl. I love camping, road trips, yoga, crafting, and spending time with my kids.”
But her positive attitude toward the challenge of working at the school was eroded on all sides. “Parents have become far too disrespectful, and their children are even worse,” she wrote. “Administration always seems to err on the side of keeping the parents happy.”
"I have already made the decision to leave teaching at the end of this year, and today, I don't know if I will make it even that long."
Among the many problems Marburger faced were a lack of resources in this underfunded school. She included pictures that showed the results of a day full of student chaos and vandalism. “Keep in mind that many of the items damaged or destroyed by my students [including books, school supplies, and even an iPad] are my personal possessions or purchased by myself, because I have NO classroom budget,” wrote Marburger.
As Marburger told Good Morning America, some of it was just as simple as theft, a crime any adult would be fined or even sent to jail for. “Sometimes I have students even coming and getting things off of my desk, just taking things that don’t belong to them,” she added.
Just as appalling as the lack of support from administration, which paid her and her fellow teachers “an insultingly measly amount,” was the attitude of parents. Instead of supporting her efforts to educate their kids, they opposed teachers at every step. “One parent today thought it was wrong of me to hold her son accountable for his behavior and decided to very rudely tell me so, in front of her son,” stated Marburger.
— fox8news (@fox8news) April 11, 2018
Of course, it wasn’t just the way students basically destroyed their own learning environment; it was also that they couldn’t keep up with the basic work they were assigned. Predicting that about half of her class would have failing grades on their report cards, because of assignments they didn’t do, she knew what was likely to happen.
“I’m probably going to spend my entire week next week fielding calls and emails from irate parents, wanting to know why I failed their kid,” she wrote. Her supervisors would also ask her why she “let so many fail without giving them support, even though [she’d] done everything short of doing the work for them.”
As for her diagnosis of the origins of the problem, Marburger made it clear what was to blame. “People absolutely HAVE to stop coddling and enabling their children,” she said, adding, “It’s not fair to society, and more importantly, it’s not fair to children to teach them this is okay.”
A Texas teacher has had enough. She took to Facebook with a big message saying, "Oeople absolutely have to stop coddling and enabling their children." Do you agree?
تم النشر بواسطة KMBC 9 في الثلاثاء، ١٠ أبريل ٢٠١٨
Rather than outrage at her, the post generated tons of support from fellow teachers and parents on social media. When it went massively viral not long after she posted it, she was shocked.
Among the many supportive comments, many shared their take on the role of the parents. Facebook user Kylee wrote, “Looks like parents aren’t involved with their kids as they could be. Kids need attention and support and love. In the right directions. With discipline. They need to know the consequences even in the real world. I hope these kids find another outlet other than the classroom.”
In a Facebook update, she reiterated her prescriptions for a better education system and world, including some tough love: “We absolutely have to hold our children to a higher standard of accountability in all areas. Inflating their success doesn’t raise self-esteem.”
Marburger has taken her ideas to a blog where she encourages conversations on civility, parenting, and educational reform. An inspiring story of someone who took a big risk to tell the truth as she saw it.
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly identified the school district in which Julie Marburger worked. The correct district is Bastrop Independent School District. The Epoch Times regrets the error.