Firing Bad Teachers

I impulsively bought a copy of Newsweek at 7 11 when buying my breakfast on the way to being late for work. The cover had a chalkboard with “We must Fire bad teachers” written over and over again. I’ve skimmed the story, but intend to read it during Spring Break. Even bad teachers don’t have a lot of time…well until all our vacation days thaat regular working stiffs don’t enjoy.

Bill Maher wrote a piece about firing bad parents in response to this controversy. What I wonder is who gets to decide what a good teacher or parent is.  Is it good practice to spank, paddle, beat or whup a child or teen? Are fear and humiliation good tools? Are standardized test scores the best way to measure teacher effectiveness? What about whole language versus phonics? Will a good teacher present Barack Obama as an Islamic-socialist usurper born in Kenya who is bringing this once great nation to the verge of collapse or as an inspirational role model guiding our multicultural nation through difficult times?

In matters regarding religion, politics and education, everyone seems to be an expert.

Why We Must Fire Bad

Mar 6, 2010 In no other profession are workers so insulated from accountability.

March 20, 2010. 1.


  1. PDeverit replied:

    People used to think it was necessary to “spank” adult members of the community, military trainees, and prisoners. In some countries they still do. In our country, it is considered sexual battery if a person over the age of 18 is “spanked”, but only if over the age of 18.

    For one thing, because the buttocks are so close to the sex organs and so multiply linked to sexual nerve centers, striking them can trigger powerful and involuntary sexual stimulus in some people. There are numerous physiological ways in which it can be sexually abusive, but I won’t list them all here. One can use the resources I’ve posted if they want to learn more. All materials listed may be accessed at the website of Parents and Teachers Against Violence In Education at

    Child buttock-battering vs. DISCIPLINE:

    Child buttock-battering (euphemistically labeled “spanking”,”swatting”,”switching”,”smacking”, “paddling”,or other cute-sounding names) for the purpose of gaining compliance is nothing more than an inherited bad habit.

    Its a good idea for people to take a look at what they are doing, and learn how to DISCIPLINE instead of hit.

    I think the reason why television shows like “Supernanny” and “Dr. Phil” are so popular is because that is precisely what many (not all) people are trying to do.

    There are several reasons why child bottom-slapping isn’t a good idea. Here are some good, quick reads recommended by professionals:

    Plain Talk About Spanking
    by Jordan Riak,

    The Sexual Dangers of Spanking Children
    by Tom Johnson,

    by Lesli Taylor M.D. and Adah Maurer Ph.D.

    Most compelling of all reasons to abandon this worst of all bad habits is the fact that buttock-battering can be unintentional or intentional sexual abuse for some children. There is an abundance of educational resources, testimony, documentation, etc available on the subject that can easily be found by doing a little research with the recommended reads-visit the website of Parents and Teachers Against Violence In Education at

    Just a handful of those helping to raise awareness of why child bottom-slapping isn’t a good idea:

    American Academy of Pediatrics,
    American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry,
    American Psychological Association,
    Center For Effective Discipline,
    Churches’ Network For Non-Violence,
    Nobel Peace Prize recipient Archbishop Desmond Tutu,
    Parenting In Jesus’ Footsteps,
    Global Initiative To End All Corporal Punishment of Children,
    United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

    In 26 countries, child corporal punishment is prohibited by law (with more in process). In fact, the US was the only UN member that did not ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

  2. mediocreteacher replied:

    Thanks for the thoughtful comment. Spanking with a clothed bottom and open hand still seems pretty commonplace, but I might be a little desensitized. My eldest children have been slapped in the face by their German grandparents for misbehaving at the dinner table. In the States I’ve seen parents twist kid’s ears, shove and shout at them, and smack their heads all while picking them up from school.
    About ten years ago a high school community advisor told a colleague and me that disciplining a teen at home with a 2X4 is a cultural practice and not considered abuse in the Samoan communit, after we expressed concern about a student’s bruises and scratches. I’ve also been told things by colleagues at former schools that “beatings saved my brother’s life” because they kept him off the streets or another who praised her single mother for giving her “a black eye when she heard I was going to skip school.” Sadly, not every person sees the paradox in hitting a kid to stop them from hitting. For others, having a child who can take and give a beating is something to be proud of.

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