Most adults remember that part of being in school meant being held accountable. If you did the work and tried hard, you got good grades. If you goofed off and didn’t do your work, you got poor grades. The students who really didn’t care and refused to do the homework and the studying were held back. This is the way it was back then, and the principal and the superintendent stood behind the teachers who thought that these measures were necessary.
Over the years private schools have changed. Many have a “no fail” policy. The administration believes that since parents are spending thousands of dollars on their children’s education that their children should be guaranteed to succeed. Their parents also shouldn’t have to pay tuition for an extra year. You would think that public schools are different. There was a time that this was true, but today, if you think that you would be wrong.
Diane Tirado had been a teacher for many years. After teaching at her school for several years, she decided that it was time for her to move on. She was thrilled when she was offered a job at Westgate K-8 School in Port St. Lucie. She was going to be teaching US history to eighth graders, and she was very excited.
The Explorer Notebook
Diane was a great teacher, and she really cared for her students. She assigned her students to work on an Explorer notebook project. She gave the students two weeks to complete the project. She was sure that this was more than enough time for the class to complete the work. When the project was due, some of her students didn’t have their notebook completed. Diane told them that they would be given one additional day to hand in the work. On the final due date, there were still some students who didn’t turn in the project. This forced Diane to give the students a zero. Since they didn’t hand in anything for her to grade, he couldn’t give them a grade which meant a zero. Sounds fair, right? Unfortunately, the school didn’t think so. This teacher gets fired for giving zeroes to students who didn’t turn in their work.
“No Zero” Policy
The school had a “no zero” policy. This meant that the lowest grade that any teacher could give a student was a 50. This didn’t make much sense. If a student didn’t do any of the work, they deserved a zero. Diane didn’t think this was right. If the students didn’t do half of the work, why did they deserve half of the grade? Diane stuck with the zeros that she gave her students, only for it to have serious repercussions later.
When the school department found out that Diane had given her students zeros, they fired her. She was a teacher who refused to give students a grade that didn’t earn, and she was fired. Diane was furious. On her last day teaching at the school, Diane wrote a message to her students on the whiteboard. It read, “By Kids. Mrs. Tirado loves you and wishes you the best in life! I have been fired for refusing to give you a 50% for not handing anything in. Love, Mrs. Tirado.
Sharing the Whiteboard Photo On Facebook
Before leaving her class for the last time, Diane took a photo of the whiteboard, and she posted it to Facebook. She wanted people to know what happened, and that she didn’t regret standing up for what she believes in. In the post, she wrote, “A grade in Mrs. Tirado’s class is earned.” She wrote how upset it makes her that kids today are expecting to get paid and live their lives simply for showing up. She knows that this isn’t how real life works and she believes that it is up to educators to teach them this.
Teaching Shouldn’t Be So Hard
Diane believes that teaching shouldn’t be as hard as it is today. Teachers teach content, and they expect their students to listen. Assignments and tests are given, and students are expected to perform to the best of their ability. The teacher should have the right to grade the assignments accordingly. Sadly, that is not how the education system works today.
Facebook Has Her Back
Diane posted her photo, and it quickly went viral. People were sharing the post and reacting to it. Most of the people who commented agreed with Diane. She should not have been fired for doing what a teacher is supposed to do. If we don’t hold students accountable when they are young, what are they going to be when they get older. When a kid grows up, and they are out in the real world, they won’t have a school department coddling them, giving credit where it isn’t deserved.
Diane’s Next Move
When Diane was fired, she was still on a probationary period. Because of this, the school department was required to give her a reason for her termination. She couldn’t go to the teacher’s union for help, and she didn’t want to. She knew that she couldn’t work for a school who would force her to give students credit that they didn’t deserve. It is against what she believes, and she wasn’t going to do it. Good for you Diane!