Cutler Bay

South Florida Teacher's Harsh Rant Goes Viral

It might be an example of pandemic burnout

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A viral snippet of audio is making a teacher’s classroom rant famous for the wrong reasons, as she told her students if they didn’t try harder in class, they would end up as criminals or prostitutes. 

It happened a month ago at Mater Academy Bay, a K-12 charter school in Cutler Bay. It’s coming to light now because after a student recorded the teacher it ended up on TikTok. Since then, the teacher, whose name we do not know, has apologized to the students and parents. We don’t know the context of what was happening in her classroom at the time but it’s clear she was fed up with the lack of effort she apparently saw in her students.  

“You said selling our bodies?” a student asks in the recording.  

“How else you gonna make money, steal or sell your body, be a whore, I don’t know what else you can do if you can’t go to college and you don’t wanna sit here and have a good work ethic, what else are you gonna do?” the teacher replied, clearly angered. 

“The school addressed it when it happened, they apologized to 20 parents and students,” said Lynn Norman Teck of the Florida Charter School Alliance. 

The rant continued. “You’re not gonna be able to play sports because you don’t have the grade point average to get into colleges, they’re not gonna let you play sports without the grade point average,” the teacher is heard admonishing the students. 

“Misjudgment on her part, absolutely, I’m not making excuses for the teacher but I am saying that we need to be a little sympathetic for the situation every professional is in, and the students as well,” Norman said. 

She’s referring to pandemic burnout, saying that may have played a role in the teacher losing her temper. 

“But not submitting your work that we did in class is wrong, is lazy, and I don’t know what to say any more about this!” the teacher is heard in another section of the recording. 

Students have been through a lot, teachers have been through a lot, and we’re seeing what you think might be an example of teacher fatigue, just being burned out and exasperated in a classroom, I asked Norman.

“Absolutely,” she replied. “I heard it in her voice the first time I heard it on social media, that’s the first thing that came to mind, I said it doesn’t sound mean spirited to me, and I’ve been following education like you, working in this field for a long time and it sounds like this is someone who’s frustrated and just exhausted.”

No one from the school would talk to us Friday, referring us to the charter school alliance instead. 

Norman said this isolated incident does not reflect the school’s values or its track record of success.

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