Chris Lehmann, the principal of the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia (who gave a fabulous TEDx talk, “Education is Broken“), has written an open letter to Natalie Munroe, the Pennsylvania high school English teacher whose blog, replete with invective, insult, and profanity directed toward her students, was found by one of those very students, shared with school administrators, and has prompted a public outcry. Strangely and sadly, there are many who are actually supporting Munroe, so I offer for my blog post today what I consider to be a beautifully crafted response. Here’s just a brief excerpt:
“You must teach because you want to help students achieve their dreams. You must teach because you care almost as much as much about the children in your class as you do about your own children. And you must approach the job with the humility to know that what you are trying to do – to help children grow up wisely and well in an ever-more-complex world – will tax you to the limits of your being. It should – it will – demand the best of you. If you can engage in that reflection… you will understand why you must apologize deeply and profoundly to your students… because you would never want another person to hurt your students as I imagine you have hurt them.”
Thanks, Chris Lehmann, for these eloquent and wise words.
Zoe Weil, President, Institute for Humane Education
Author of Most Good, Least Harm, Above All, Be Kind, and The Power and Promise of Humane Education
My TEDx talk: “The World Becomes What You Teach“
Image courtesy of Chris Lehmann via Creative Commons.