Friday, June 13, 2014

Directory of Anti-Teacher Trolls

It may or may not be a good idea to attempt reading all the pieces responding to the Vergara decision, but it's definitely a mistake to read the comments section for any of them.

If there is any group that has been emboldened by the California court's fact-free finding against teacher job protections, it has been the legion of anti-teacher trolls. From mainstreamish media like Slate to the usual bloggy outposts, teacher bashing trollery is in high gear.

So this seems like the perfect time to provide a directory of the basic varieties of internet teacher-haters you may encounter. (And remember-- don't feed them.)

Childless Troll

I don't have any kids, so why should I be paying any kinds of taxes to pay teachers salary? Cut their salary back to where I don't have to pay any taxes ever. Mind you, I still expect my doctor, neighbors, fellow voters, and every employed person I ever deal with to be an educated adult. I just don't want there to be any schools. I don't know how that's going to work. You're so smart, you figure it out.

Public Service Troll

People should work with children for free because it's such important work (also, musicians and artists should never want to be paid). When teachers complain about salary and benefits, it's unseemly. If they really cared about the children, teachers would happily live in a cardboard box just for the warm glow of satisfaction that comes from teaching. When teachers complain about no raise for eight years or trying to support their family, it just pisses me off-- don't they care about the children??

"Those Damn Unions" Troll

It's the damn teachers union. Teachers all want to go sleep at their desks because the union will protect them. The union does nothing but protect bad teachers. In fact, the union actually goes out, recruits bad teachers, and then cleverly forces administrations to give these crappy teachers tenure. The union also elected Obama President, and they have the power to bend all elected officials to their will (except for Rand Paul). Union leaders have a giant pile of money that they like to swim in a la Scrooge McDuck; they use it to buy all the elections and all the power.

Teacher Hater Troll

Teachers are the single biggest obstacle to education today. They are only in it for the power and the glory. Well, no-- they also became teachers because they knew that would put them in the best position to interfere with the education of American students, which is every teacher's goal. Teachers hate children, and they hate learning, so they become teachers so they can devote their entire lives to destroying those things. It's perfectly logical.

Race To The Bottom Troll

The guy who cooks the fries at McDonalds does not have tenure or make any more than minimum wage or get vacations, so neither should teachers. The guy who dropped out of school in tenth grade and now works part-time at Mega-Mart doesn't have job security, and he barely makes enough to pay his cellphone bill, so why should teachers not have to struggle, too? There are employers in this country who force their workers to toil in unconscionable conditions; why should we fight to improve those conditions when we can fight to drag teachers down to that crappy level instead.

Sad Bitter Memories Troll

I hated high school. My teachers were mean to me. I remember a couple who picked on me all the time just because I didn't do my work and slept in class a lot. And boy, they did a crappy job of teaching me anything. I sat in their classroom like a houseplant at least three days a week, and I didn't learn a thing. Boy, did they suck! Crappy teachers like that ought to be fired immediately! And that principal who yelled at me for setting fire to the library? That guy never liked me. Fire 'em all.

Unlikely Anecdote Troll

There was this one teacher in the town just over from where I went to school, and one day he brought in a nine millimeter machine gun and mowed down every kid in his first three classes. The principal was going to fire him, but the union said he couldn't because of tenure, so that guy just kept working there. They even put kids in his class who were related to the ones he shot. Tenure has to be made illegal right away.

Just Plain Wrong Troll

Tenure actually guarantees teachers a job for life, and then for thirty years after they retire and fifty years after they die. It's true. Once you get hired as a teacher you are guaranteed a paycheck with benefits for the next 150 years.

Confused Baloney Troll

If you really care about children and educational excellence, then you want to see teachers slapped down. The only way to foster excellence in education is by beating teachers down so they know their place. Only by beating everyone in the bucket can we get the cream to rise to the top.

Like A Business Troll

You know, in every other job, you get judged on your performance and then rewarded or fired accordingly. Personally, I would have been a useless lazy bastard at my job except that my boss was always looking over my shoulder. People suck unless you threaten them. Nobody threatens teachers enough; that's why they all suck. All the best businesses like, you know, big investment banks like Lehman Brothers or energy companies like Enron-- those totally function on accountability.

Fake Statistic Troll

It's a known fact that 63% of teachers failed high school shop class, and 43% are unable to even dress themselves. If you have a bad teacher in Kindergarten, it's a proven fact that you will make $1 trillion dollars less in life; also, you'll be plagued with adolescent acne until you're 34, and your children will be ugly. 92% of high school graduates last year were unable to read, and 46% of those were unable to even identify the English language. Also, 143% of urban teachers are "highly ineffective" and 52% of those are "grossly ineffective" and 24% of those actually give off waves that cause metal surfaces to rust. I ask you, how can we continue to support public education under these conditions.

Tin Hat Troll

Teachers are part of the Agenda 21 agenda, and will be used as tools to turn students into mindless puppets who will smother their parents in their beds at night. You can read all about it in the Codexes of the Postuleminatti.

Charter School Troll

All of these bad things only apply to public school. In charter schools, all students develop a cure for cancer and build pink unicorns from ordinary materials you can find around the house.

Accountability Troll

There are still poor children in this country who are doing poorly in school. That must be a teacher's fault. Hunt that teacher down and fire him, repeatedly.

Incoherent Rage Troll

Teachers just all suck with the suckiness think they're so smarty pants with their fancy college edumacations and don't even work a whole year or a whole day even they just work an hour and then twelve months off every summer resting up from just babysitting which any moron could do so fire them all because, suck gaaaaahhh.

If I missed any, you can just sign on as a Hey You Made A Serious Omission troll in the comments below.




54 comments:

  1. Peter, you have a unique ability to make me cry and laugh at the same time. I'm trying not to read all those trolly comments, but it's like a train-wreck. I just can't look away. Thanks for giving me a framework through which I can digest the drivel. ^0^

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  2. Thank you for this- so timely, and so perfect.

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  3. Great and timely summary of the craziness that is out there now. How did we get to the point where we judged everyone unfairly without even knowing them or their abilities? As a country, I believe we have taken a guilty until proven innocent mentality and it needs to stop. Enough is enough.

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  4. Love love love,
    Adore adore adore
    Reposting as fast as my thumbs can handle it.

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  5. The entire post comes off as elitist, entitled, and the REST of the non teacher world a bunch of minion idiots. Gonna win TONS of support that way.

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    1. Wait. So I'm clear, are you saying the REST of the non-teacher world are or are not Anti-Teacher Trolls? I'm thinking Mr. Greene wasn't envisioning a world of mutually exclusive folks: teachers and non-teacher trolls. The whole thing was pretty funny to me, and I've seen ALL of these types on the inter webs. Relax and laugh a little (unless you saw yourself in one of the descriptors, which would explain a lot, would it not?)

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    2. Eric - I believe we just found a "Hey You Made A Serious Omission" troll! I think we should call this one a I Have No Sense Of Humor And Take Myself And Everyone Else Way Way Way Too Seriously troll.

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    3. I think you are right, that was clearly a "I have no sense of humour ... troll." ;)

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    4. And what are "minion idiots" anyway?

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  6. Okay, who had 4 hours and 35 minutes in the "How long will it take a troll to troll the troll post" poll?

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    1. Bwahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  7. of course I'm "a troll"... of course. Yes... how utterly brilliant of you. I cannot POSSIBLY be a thinking, intelligent parent and person who pays taxes who actually has a counter point to this and understands the issues on both sides. Right... I MUST be a troll. Yes by all means keep that nonsense going.... and let me know how well that works for you in diminishing the public perspective and statements this blog is whining about. That attitude, Mr Greene, is PRECISELY the issue we as the tax paying public tend to have with teachers. Right there. That one. Bravo. Really.

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    1. Wait. I'm confused. Are you a "I pay taxes" troll (or perhaps a Childless Troll) or just a garden variety concern troll? Eh, never mind. I've already got all those checked off in my Troll Watching book. Actually, now that I look at it, they're all checked off. Still, if you see a Like a Business Troll, please let me know; they're my favorite.

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    2. Is this a contest? My guess is for Tin Hat Troll! What do I win?

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  8. The problem here is that the "teachers" that "support" this blog are part of an almost cheer squad They believe they are right. They believe there is no discussion. They believe they are smarter than everyone else. And they congratulate each other on the supreme intellect they hold over the idiots holding them down. And calling me a "troll" 100% solidified that. Again, BRILLIANT.

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    1. 1. I AM NOT A TEACHER. However, I know at least half a dozen. Personally.
      2. Are you a teacher? Do you have personal knowledge of and/or experience in teaching? Are you SURE you have all the facts? (See also: #4)
      3. Get that HUGE wad out of your panties. Recognize a bit of well-written (satire/irony/sarcasm) when you see it; your choice, although personally I believe satire is correct as applied to the blog, while your first reply would be considered sarcasm. And don't take things so personally. You attacked first - yes, that's correct, no one forced you to read the blog. If you can't take the response, stay out of the discussion. (OK, maybe he shouldn't have called you a troll. But c'mon, you basically asked for it with your reply.)
      4. You say you "understand(s) the issues on both sides." Maybe so, but things usually look much different to a casual or outside observer, no matter how objective they consider themselves to be. Get (better) educated on the problems teachers face. You might just find your position softening. And if not ...
      5. Repeat as necessary. (Another tiny bit of sarcasm, in case you didn't notice. Oops, sarcasm again. Sigh.)

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    2. I AM a teacher. If I did not believe I was right about my positions on educational issues, I would change my positions, I would change my actions, I would change what I say. I am a highly reflective teacher (which my colleagues and administrators have recognized) and I am more than happy to change my mind when I realize I'm wrong. And I want to know when I am wrong, because I know that is how I will grow as a teacher.

      However, as someone who has spent three years in a classroom as a teacher, I am much more knowledgeable about what goes on behind the desk, so to speak, than anyone who has never been a teacher.

      Likewise, an auto mechanic with three years experience in a Chevy dealership is going to be much more knowledgeable about how Chevys work than someone who has merely owned a Chevy for 30 years.

      Someone who has spent three years working in a post office is going to be much more knowledgeable about how our mail system works than someone who has merely received mail for 20 years.

      One of the main problems I see today is that we have people who are like armchair quarterbacks on Monday night. They see the quarterback making decisions they don't agree with from the comfort of their La-Z-Boy and want to criticize him, in spite of them never having set foot on a college football field during a game. This isn't a problem when that armchair is in the living room of a regular citizen who fills one of the aforementioned troll roles.

      Unfortunately, many of these armchair quarterbacks have wormed their way in to positions as educational leaders, who then run around accusing those people with actual educational experience of being "bureaucrats," "union thugs." and "liberals."

      If we truly want to save American public education, we need to let those people with actual experience lead the way.

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    3. Lisa's an "I pay taxes" troll. I pay taxes, and I have a kid and went to school once, therefore I am entitled to abuse those elitist teachers and tell them what they can and can not say about their own experiences. Hell, those teachers should be grateful to lick my boots and listen to what I, as a taxpaying parent has to say about their lives and livelihoods. After all, I pay their salaries.

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    4. I just love how people complain about paying taxes, as if they're doing a favour. You know, instead of because they're supposed to.

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    5. Lisa..As a taxpayer...oh. Never mind. Only you, as in "we the people" type of taxpayer, gets to have an opinion. And an attitude.

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  9. If you have a point to make from your perspective, I am all ears. Always have been. There are some areas regarding the current state of education on which reasonable people can disagree. There are also people who are content simply to troll. For this one post today, I am focusing on trolls. If you would prefer not to be mistaken one, try not leading with "you teachers and your crappy attitudes."

    If you have a perspective on the various issues, I am happy to listen. I have friends (and family) all over the perspective map, and I'm always happy to hear more.

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    1. All trolls deny being a troll, Peter! So if Oh Lisa wasn't a troll before, she is one now.

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  10. (slippage) See, I read an awful lot of teacher and non-teacher writing, and I see almost no writing within the teacher community that sounds like "We are so much smarter than everybody else." Point being that it's hard for me to respond to that criticism when I can't see where it comes from. Personally, I'm a lot of things, but smarter than everyone else is not one of them. And if I thought there was no discussion, I'd turn on the moderating tools and filter out anybody who wanted to disagree with me.

    Let me try again. The troll types that I've listed here are recognizably real. I've been reading their stuff for a while. I don't for a minute think that they represent the full range of People Who Disagree With Teachers About All This Stuff. That's a full range of human beings which, as is true on all sides of most issues, includes some people who are very smart and some people who aren't very smart at all. But I'm not trying to capture that full range here, right now, today.

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  11. Well, Lisa Marie is a very common troll type you missed. The snarling concern troll:

    "Yes by all means keep that nonsense going.... and let me know how well that works for you in diminishing the public perspective and statements this blog is whining about. That attitude, Mr Greene, is PRECISELY the issue we as the tax paying public tend to have with teachers. They believe they are right. Gonna win TONS of support that way."

    Teachers were hoping somehow to win over some troll support, if only we knew how. Thank you for the advice.

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  12. Loudest I've laughed all day!

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  13. I think you hit it on the head.

    For whom the belles troll? Not for me.

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    1. "For whom the belles troll?"

      Absolutely brilliant, hilarious and profoundly clever! I will be annoying my friends for days by, periodically and without preface, laughing big belly laughs. That's one of those "I wish I'd thought of that" lines.

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  14. "...and 24% of those actually give off waves that cause metal surfaces to rust..."

    This is why I read your blog.

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  15. Why I believe we have found the not so rare multiple troll; bitter memories, no sense of humor, teacher hater. How about some stats and a few unrelated anecdotes? Come on. You can do it! Go for the gold!.

    By the way, the nature of trolls is that they have no interest in being "won over". At first I thought the comments were more satire. As I continued to read, I realized that this article was also "troll bait", Very amusing.

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  16. Peter, this is brilliant. And it comes with its own justification in the comments section! I think you should expand this, publish make a trillion dollars and really piss off the anti-teacher trolls.

    This will allow you to write a sequel.

    Thanks for the laugh, man. Needed it.

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  17. This may well fall into multiple categories, but what about the NIMBY Troll? You know, the "All the teachers in MY KIDS' SCHOOL are great, but in general teachers suck" troll?
    This has been one of my favorite blog posts in a long time!!

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  18. Tears have been streaming down my face as I read not only the satirical article, but the comments. I cannot remember the last time I laughed this hard...maybe it's an emotional release after all that's been going on this year. Thanks for that!

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  19. Laughed and felt relief. Fantastic, Peter.

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  20. I've run into a few others, actually. There's the "Teachers and underage kids are hot" troll (those are seriously icky to deal with and thankfully only rarely come out of the woodwork), and then there's the "If you all keep complaining about Obama, you're all going to hell" troll (they usually live on DemocraticUnderground and similar sites and just cannot understand how teachers could possibly be upset with Obama). My least favorite, though, are the "America's education stinks and needs to entirely be reformed by attacking teachers" trolls. Those are the ones who go on and on about how terrible education is in the US but always entirely ignore any and all data to the contrary. They also usually are union haters, too.

    All these trolls are tiring to deal with online. I rarely engage most days, as they're not interested in actual dialogue or understanding. If they seem to be, I'll talk, but most of the time, they're just interested in projecting whatever personal issues they have onto all the teachers in the thread.

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  21. Thank you thank you thank you for giving teachers a voice in the process!

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  22. Peter-- Thanks a million for your commentary. I loved the troll list as well as your other observations. I wish I were as curmudgeonly as you.

    Signed--
    The Crabby Counselor

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  23. I am a "troll" who actually served on a regular public school board dealing with complex social problems, and this troll also founded a charter school. If you slap a nasty label on everybody who disagrees with you what does that make you? How will we ever make progress on teaching and learning if push each other aside and bark at each other from opposite corners? This blog makes me sad, it's disgraceful, and Diane Ravitch re-transmitting it just amplifies the meanness.

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  24. Reading the comments, I think we need the category of No Sense of Ha Ha Troll: those who cannot possibly see any humour in a sensitive issue.

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  25. There are a lot of racist trolls where I live. Basically their comments consist of, "The parents are to blame. Let's give up." Often they use racial categories, but even if they don't, in Memphis the subtext is understood. I think there's a lot of this mentality out there, which is how the "reform movement" has gotten to where it has so much power.

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    1. People who believe that alcohol and nicotine are food groups and wouldn't be caught dead reading a book should avoid reproducing. Blaming the results of criminally incompetent parenting on criminally incompetent parents is not "racist." It's merely an embarrassing fact.

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    2. Spot on, Meghan. Look, you caught a specimen!

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  26. This is simply dreadful. I've enjoyed several of your posts, but this one is myopic and venal. I taught school for ten years, albeit at a private school, both middle and upper school on the same day. Twelve different preps over that time, chaired my department and administered the disciplinary system my last three years. During that time, I also felt that anyone who dared criticize teachers and the education system and processes was uniformed and ignorant, and that we were somehow morally superior to the profit-seeking (gasp!) corporate types who were ruining the world. I had no significant exposure to anything outside education from college to grad school to teaching, and it was I who was equally ignorant to those outside the education bubble. And it is a bubble, filled with un-reflective, suspicious, dismissive people who assume the worst in others outside their world. Fine, not all, but look at the comments here for examples. I was that way and I was dead wrong. When I left for the private sector, I was astounded at how wrong I was! The idea that you are somehow above reproach simply by being a teacher is just unbelievable. If you read this same post as an essay turned in by a student, you would rightfully correct them for such a self-centered, entitled view of themselves and the world. This is remarkably uncivil. You pass it off as humor, barely, but look at the hostility it evokes from your followers as they believe this all to be true. Disagree with me and it's not just a difference of perspective, it's that you're evil! Is this the kind of character we want our children being taught? Again, read the comments of your followers. Perfect examples of low emotional intelligence and incapable of a coherent intellectual argument. Instead, it's all name-calling and they're encouraged to engage in that behavior by this post. I would never allow my own child to react and behave like that. In my own work I stress individual and organizational accountability, a concept mocked here. By the way, my wife teaches 2nd grade in a public school, and she would never lower herself to this level of childishness in a discussion of education and teachers like the commenters here. I sympathize with the overload of expectations placed on teachers today, and your post from last year on there's never enough is right on target. I just hope to see less of this us vs. them worldview, regardless of any real or perceived injustices and invectives thrown your way as teachers. There's plenty of that thrown at the private sector too, witness our chief executive hurling insults at whole classes of people such as bankers and doctors. No one has exclusive rights to victim-hood, and no one admires complainers.

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    1. The mistake repeatedly made by critics of this post is in assuming that I somehow said that all people who criticize teachers fall uder these categories. They do not. But there is legitimate criticism and there is trolling. I deal with legitimate criticism in plenty of other posts. In this post, I deal with trolling

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    2. It's two years later, but possible serious omission nonetheless: the "I was once a teacher but I'm better than that now" troll.

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  27. Highly unlikely you're a teacher. No teacher would write an unreadable paragraph like that. I hope.

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  28. And you prove my point, thank you. A personal accusation ("highly unlikely you're a teacher"), and if you read it, I pointed out I was a teacher for ten years, but not now. Then an insult ("unreadable paragraph"), instead of addressing the content. This is what passes for the state of intellectual discussion these days?

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    1. The thing about unreadable paragraphs is that they make addressing the content quite difficult, because, uh, unreadable.

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  29. Wait - did you forget the time-honored "Teachers shouldn't be paid - they get summers off!!!"

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  30. Astrin;
    Beat me to the punch (hate it when that happens!).

    As the spouse of a (recently retired) 40 years experience, Primary grades (all of them over the years), TEACHER (5X "Who's Who", 6X honored by being selected by "her" elementary kids to be a "marshal" at their HS commencement ceremonies, and 40X told year after year that "you are the Teacher responsible for my child's success....." - by parents.

    The same Teacher that received 0 years "credit" (towards either "seniority", or, more importantly her "pension", for nearly 11 years (exemplary) service in another state prior to moving to NY.

    The same Teacher I use as an example when listening to the (here comes the "hey you missed a TT"), "You want PROOF that teachers are lazy?" - "Why else would they pick a job where you only have to work 180 days a year, get all kinds of crazy "breaks", work only 9 months a year, (and then only from 9am - 3pm) AND get all summer OFF?" - "There's your PROOF".

    Gotta give 'em credit though, their line of reasoning hasn't changed one iota in 40 years.

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  31. sorry, forgot to mention;

    The same Teacher that was at her desk most days by 7:30am, spent a couple of days a week of her lunch (half) hour eating at her desk WITH "her" kids when they earned a "Munch with Me", left for home at 6-6:30pm, and THEN spent a couple hours "correcting".
    You know, THAT "lazy one".

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  32. Peter, this is the gift post that keeps on giving. I fed a troll today... was feeling scrappy... and when all was said and done (although, I don't know if he will post anymore), I was satisfied that he showed his true troll self. He patronized teachers... so I patronized him. He didn't like it. I came back to re-read this post. Makes me smile with satisfaction. Thank you again, for such a GREAT post!

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    1. Here's the article. It's in the comment section... if you're interested in a little trolling :P

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/23/teacher-turnover-rate_n_5614972.html?fb_comment_id=fbc_555503224559539_555770924532769_555770924532769

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  33. Hey you made a serious omission: The teachers are lazy and stupid troll, because everyone knows that those who can't do- teach. If you were smart enough and motivated enough, you would be out in the real world working a real job instead of just babysitting kids and pulling lessons out of your ass.

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