Duncanville High School student Jeff Bliss, in a video that has gone viral, spends 87 seconds lecturing his teacher on how she can be more effective. Bliss is dismissed and ignored and was told to leave by the teacher.
“You want kids to come into your class? You want them to get excited for this? You gotta come in here and make them excited. You want a kid to change and start doing better? You gotta touch his freakin’ heart. Can’t expect a kid to change if all you do is just tell ‘em. You gotta take this job serious. This is the future of this nation.”
Bliss also referred to a remark the teacher made to her students where she pointed out this job was her paycheck.
The teacher can be heard telling the Bliss “you’re wasting my time” “bye” and “get out” throughout the entire video.
“Jeff Bliss said he was upset by what he says is his teacher’s lack of passion for her profession.
He said he was standing up for his education but admits he could have handled it differently.
He hit a boiling point over a test in his World History class Tuesday morning.
“My question was, why we don’t get the same amount of time to take the test as the rest of her classes,” said Bliss.
He says his teacher replied with profanity telling him to stop his questioning and leave. That’s when he erupted.”
Ducanville Independent School District has released the following statement in response to the video:
“The district is aware of the video and we are currently addressing the situation. As a district with a motto of Engaging Hearts and Minds we focus on building positive relationships with students and designing engaging work that is meaningful. We want our students and teachers to be engaged, but the method by which the student expressed his concern could have been handled in a more appropriate way. We are and will continue to be open to listening to students.”
As a person who attended California public schools in the 1980s, I can empathize with Bliss. I had too many teachers who just didn’t care and it was evident. They appeared bored and uninterested in the students they were supposed to be educating. When teachers don’t care, how can we expect the students to be engaged and learn?
I recently had a conversation about this particular subject with a friend. I explained that a science teacher I had would hand his class an assignment that was straight from the textbook. The answers were easy to find without reading the chapter. All one had to do was skim the pages and the answers were in order of the questions. My girlfriend and I would quickly finish and then we chatted. We were told to be quiet and get to work. We explained that we had finished the assignment and refused to stop chatting. The teacher accepted our answer. He didn’t provide more work for us to do—because he put no thought into his lesson plan. If he gave us more work today, what would he have us do tomorrow? It would have meant more work for him. So he just let us misbehave. When I shared this story with my friend, he told me I was blaming the teacher because I was misbehaving. NO! I was a TEEN. I needed discipline. This teacher was lazy and didn’t want to put any thought or creativity into his students or his lesson plan. He wanted his paycheck with as little effort as possible. Was that helpful to me? No. Should I have been a better student? Yes. But I was a kid and I smelled his apathy and knew I could get away with it, and that’s how many teens are. It doesn’t make them bad kids. It makes them kids who need guidance and care. When I had teachers who cared and took the time to make sure their students were engaged and felt as if there were real consequences if the work wasn’t done, I paid attention, did the work and got good grades.
I salute Bliss and I hope the teacher he addressed feels the pressure to do a better job. Judging from the dismissive tone of her voice, I highly doubt she will ever really care about her students. That’s a crying shame!