Keeping Tabs On TMAO So You Don’t Have To

TMAO comments on Joanne Jacobs’ reblog of Scott’s Teachers Gone Wild series.

Exhumed for y’all:

Good teachers don’t have these problems. They don’t. Good teachers would never let classroom culture degenerate to this point, and if it did, they would not resort to screaming, throwing fits, and cursing. Please. These are not accurate cross-sections of anything except the various ways bad teachers make bad situations worse.

I’ll bet all the money in my pockets that you can see these same kids at different points of the day acting in dramatically different ways. Why? Because student behavior is a function of educator quality.

Did you watch the first video all the way to the end? Did you hear what the girl in the front row said? “Sir, we’ve been sitting hear for 1/2 an hour and you aren’t saying anything. You’re just standing there staring at us. Obviously, we’re going to get bored and talk.”

She’s right. Teach the kids. Be good at your job. Act like a human adult and not some petulant robot child, and watch all these little petty problems disappear.

Then this dude Michael’s all up in TMAO’s Kool-Aid like:

But if you believe no teenagers come to class without fear and primarily intent on showing off by thwarting the teacher’s will, I think you are naive.

Dayum! But then TMAO comes back with:

Fine. So what? A good teacher can 1) handle it in ways that don’t fall back upon the silly and ultimately ineffective use of fear, 2) create in their rooms conditions that are more interesting and appealing than showing off. If you don’t believe that, please change professions. And I gotta tell ya, there’s nothing soft about sending kids the message that you’re gonna bust your ass every minute you’re in my classroom; you’re gonna worker stronger and harder than ever before; you’re gonna transform your hollow dislike of these processes into pride and joy. There’s nothing soft about establishing ambitious, aggressive goals, and employing the will to get kids there.


I'm Dan and this is my blog. I'm a former high school math teacher and current head of teaching at Desmos. He / him. More here.


  1. I must be the only edublogger who HASN’T chimed in on the TMAO situation … and I’m still going to lay in the cut until I find the words to really articulate what I’d say in response to all the madness. I am keeping up with it all nonetheless. Thanks for updating us.