First-year teacher/mouth-taper Michelle Rhee’s soliloquy

In case you didn’t know, Michelle Rhee told DCPS teachers that as a first-year Teach for America teacher, she taped her elementary school students’ mouths shut with masking tape because she was unable to control them.  Yes, really.

To tape, or not to tape: that is the question.

Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the screams and yells of 8-year-olds

Or to take arms against a sea of whining,

And by taping kids’ mouths shut, end it. To tape, to silence

No more. And by a silence to say we end

The crying, and the thousand annoying sounds

That teachers’ ears are victims to. ‘Tis a consummation

Devoutly to be wished. To tape, to silence,

To silence, perchance to be sued: Ay, there’s the rub,

For in that lawsuit what allegations may come,

When child protective services workers are subpoenaed,

Must give us pause. There’s the problem

That makes calamity of so long teaching career.

For who would bear these wretched parasites-

The tattle-telling, the theatrics over minor abrasions,

The ill-timed potty interruptions, the line leader’s delay,

The unannounced vomiting, and the constant neediness

That is enough to give an instructor hives,

When she herself might easily shut them up

With a mere piece of masking tape? Who would all this endure,

To go to school each day and wrangle hideous children,

But that the promise of Fenty-bestowed power,

The unprecedented country from whose realm

No dictator ever returns,  makes reckless the will,

And lets us fire educators and cover up erasures–

That makes us endure these churlish monsters

And so transform them into silent test-takers,

Rather than listen to their nonsense and pretend to care.

Thus conscience does makes cowards of some,

Excepting me, who could bear no more,

And hastened off to Staples for some tape,

Which then I stuck right to the monster’s mouths

In the name of Reform.


1 Comment

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One response to “First-year teacher/mouth-taper Michelle Rhee’s soliloquy

  1. RetiringTeacher

    So teacherbiz must be an English teacher! Hooray for Hamlet!

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