Teacher got fired for telling kids the truth about Santa Claus

Discussion in 'General Education' started by blessedhands, Dec 16, 2008.

  1. Bored of Ed

    Bored of Ed Enthusiast

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    Dec 19, 2008

    Justme -- I agree that saying Santa is real is just as bad. Either way it is not the teacher's place to mess with kids' beliefs. The responsible thing to do is to withold comment. If a kid asks and insists on an answer, I would probably say something like "Well, what do YOU believe?" and tell the kids that they have a right to their own beliefs.
     
  2. MollyT

    MollyT Companion

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    Dec 20, 2008

    I read your story and I really enjoyed it.

    As for the teacher in question. . . .

    I try to teach the kids in my class (Year 3 ) not to lie and in return I try not to lie to them. But ...

    1. If they ask questions about Santa (or such like) I tell them to speak to their parents.

    2. If they insisted on my opinion I would tell them that I don't believe in Santa (although no child has ever insisted on my opinion) because I don't want to lie to them.

    3. I do have an issue with why and how this teacher told the students, based on the limited information in the report.
     
  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Dec 20, 2008

    According to the link in the first post:

    "Apparently, they were all talking about Christmas and being a bit rowdy. She just came straight out with it."

    She wasn't put on the spot, she wasn't asked. She was annoyed that these 7 year olds were being rowdy. She was unable to control a class and figured she would show them.

    This isn't about honesty. It's about a teacher who chose to be mean instead of controlling a class.
     
  4. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Dec 20, 2008

    My 2nd grade teacher told me. Not in a kind way, not because I asked her, but she just told me. I can still hear her voice (the one teacher that I came really close to hating and still have a lot of dislike for). I was talking to a friend about Christmas and what Santa was bringing me. Mrs. C looked at me and said in a very mean and loud voice, "Come on, Christy, aren't you old enough to realize that there is no Santa, it's just your mama and daddy giving you presents? That's why you don't get nice gifts like some others, your family is poor." I was completely heartbroken. (This is the same teacher who got on to me for crying after my papaw passed away.)
     
  5. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Dec 20, 2008

    Why do people who don't like kids choose to teach??
     
  6. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Dec 20, 2008

    This is how I feel on the topic. The teacher was being mean spirited. It doesn't really matter the content of what she said, only that she said something deliberately to hurt the children. THAT is what is so totally unacceptable, not the santa or no santa issue. I agree with the school for firing her. Any adult who can be that vicious to children has not business working with them.
     
  7. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    Dec 20, 2008

    I'm so with you on this one. I'm ok with a teacher ignoring the whole Santa issue, or one who just says, "go ask your parents," but I do not want someone else destroying my kids' magic. I think that, when they no longer believe, I have a certain way I want to tell them and a certain way I want to word the explanation. It's a parental job, not a school job, to explain the whole Santa thing.
    Kim
     
  8. CanukTeacher

    CanukTeacher Comrade

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    Dec 20, 2008

    I think all teachers have days where they crack a little. Was it mean? Yes. Should she have done it? No. Is it reasonable to fire someone over this? No, but it seems that in the US teachers can be fired over anything. So perhaps I am biased. Unions seem to be much stronger here in Canada. (In fact, some of what I read on here scares me because I worry that in 5 or 10 years Canadian schools may be more like this. I like the fact that I anticipate teaching for my board for 30 years - probably at the same school with the same neat people. The job insecurity many of you experience really terrifies me.) I know of only 2 teachers being fired from my board in the past 7 years. Both were fired for good reasons. Both were documented over a period of time. So a teacher would never be fired over something like this where I live, nor do I think they should. This, probably quite new teacher, was frustrated and made a mistake. It doesn't mean they are a bad person or a bad teacher - they had a bad day. But again, I expect this teacher wasn't actually fired, just moved. Perhaps I read wrong, but the article sounded to me like they wouldn't be in that school again (which does not mean they will not work for the agency again).
     
  9. Amanda

    Amanda Administrator Staff Member

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    Dec 20, 2008

    CanukTeacher - It happened in the UK, not in the US.

    ETA: Also, it was pointed out earlier that it was a substitute teacher, not a regular classroom teacher. The substitute was "fired" in the sense that she won't be coming back to that school.
     
  10. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

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    Dec 20, 2008

    :mad: what a mean teacher :mad:
     
  11. CanukTeacher

    CanukTeacher Comrade

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    Dec 20, 2008

    Hi Amanda,

    I realise that it happened in the UK, but the majority of posters in this post seem to be posting from the US and it seems to be considered very reasonable that a school might choose to fire someone over something like this. My point was simply that it surprises me that so many teachers seem to be okay with the concept of firing someone over something like this, but perhaps the reason this seems so strange to me is because the way firings happen and the contexts in which they can happen seem to be very different in Canada. Where I teach the question of firing wouldn't even come up - even for a sub. You can't take a qualified teacher off the supply list unless they get written up by the College of Teachers or you document a series of events over a period of time that are considerably more severe than one slip up like this.

    I'm not sure what ETA means so I don't know if that was meant to refer to me but I do understand that the teacher was a sub, but as a sub in the UK agency system (which I know a fair bit about from friends who have worked there). I think the word fire is wrong (to the best of my recollection it was used in the title which would most likely have been written by a different person than the article) because the sub would simply not have been sent back to that school by the agency again. The teacher is not an employee of the school, but of the agency, so they were not fired, they were given a different posting. (I think someone posted on this board - though it may have been the other board I visit - about their daughter getting reassigned because she wrote on a smartboard in permanent marker. Same idea - reassigned, not fired.)
     
  12. Amanda

    Amanda Administrator Staff Member

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    Dec 20, 2008

    ETA = edited to add

    Right. I used quotes for "fired" because the teacher wasn't actually fired.

    As for the possibility of a teacher being fired in the US for telling children that Santa Claus doesn't exist... that would be highly unlikely. A substitute teacher, on the other hand, would probably not be asked back to the school either...
     
  13. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

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    Dec 22, 2008

    It sounds like the sub was not being very considerate to the children. I doubt any public school teacher (union member) who has tenure or even is on probation in the USA could get fired for just that. The teacher would need a list of problems that the telling of the children would be the "straw that broke the camels back".

    A sub, however could be stopped from teaching at the school I work at for a variety of reasons. All it takes is the principal putting a stop on the persons sub number to keep them from being invited back.

    I also was raised with out the belief of Santa Claus and when I first taught I had issue because of the lie that saying he exists entails. At this point I just don't bring up Santa Claus and if asked I say a lot of people believe in him.
     
  14. Miss Bliss

    Miss Bliss Companion

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    Dec 23, 2008

    Ha Ha "Major!" That was hilarious. Yeah, this teacher is just an idiot. I'm sorry to be so harsh but come on now!! Did this teacher WANT the parents to be upset with her? I do what I can to avoid confrontation with parents. Why would you deliberately do something this dumb to start trouble. What a dumbo!!
     

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