Every now and then you hear a story that sounds like it came straight out of Dead Poets Society: A teacher who deeply cares about his or her students' educations and well-beings comes into a classroom and inspires the kids to learn and love learning. The system tries to sabotage the teacher and maybe they succeed, but not until after he or she has improved the lives of the children. It's inspiring. It's beautiful. O Captain! My Captain!
Well, this story of a Texas high schooler passionately raging against the machine is the exact opposite of that.
Jeff Bliss, a student from Duncanville, TX, has been gaining admirers ever since a cellphone video of him lecturing his teacher for her laziness and disinterest in the classroom went viral earlier this week.
"I'm sick of hearing this freaking lady go off on kids 'cause they don't freaking get this crap," Bliss says as he's repeatedly asked to leave the class. "If you would just get up and teach them instead of handing them a freaking packet, yo. There's kids in here who don't learn like that. They need to learn face to face...Since I got here I've [been doing] nothing but reading packets."
He gets even more inspired:
"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."
The teacher can be heard in the background, saying things like "Bye" and "You're wasting my time."
According to the local CBS affiliate, the Duncanville Independent School District is looking into the video, but to what end? Will the administration punish the teacher? That hardly seems appropriate or helpful seeing as the problem that Bliss is addressing is a part of a much larger flaw within the U.S. education system — not to mention that (according to my friends who are teachers and — let me be honest — season four of The Wire) it's often the administration that, by leaning so heavily on test scores, limits the creative and engaging methods of teachers.
That said, I'm sure that we all had those teachers in high school who we wanted to ask Why are you even here? Well, don't worry past selves. Jeff Bliss will speak for you.