It’s not like becoming a teacher is as easy as getting a job at a carwash or fast food restaurant. Becoming a teacher requires an advanced degree and special certification, which would hopefully mean those who commit to the process and seek to educate children do so because they have a love of learning — and teaching — in their hearts.
Shayla Smith, a math teacher from Atlanta, seems to prove that theory otherwise, however.
She allegedly helped her fifth grade students cheat because she said they were “dumb as hell,” according to the New York Daily News (via The Atlanta Journal Constitution). (And unfortunately she isn’t the first teacher to do something like this.)
A three-person test-cheating tribunal took an entire hour to endorse Smith’s termination earlier this week, saying she was guilty of “willful neglect and immorality,” although the school board has yet to vote on whether her contract will be renewed.
Among those testifying against Smith was a colleague who said she heard Smith say after proctoring an exam for another teacher, “I had to give your kids, or your students, the answers because they’re dumb as hell.”
It bears a mention that teacher who testified against Smith admitted to not getting along with her. But a student also maintained that Smith had given students answers before (although the student also proved not to be entirely credible since she said the exam Smith administered lasted several days when, in fact, it lasted only one).
Other strikes against Smith included an accusation that she changed answers after tests had been collected — with the exam papers showing erasure marks.
According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “nearly 180 Atlanta Public School educators were named in a state investigation into cheating” following a state investigation triggered by reports in the paper.
While it’s plausible that there’s a full-on conspiracy against Smith, it seems perhaps more likely that she did what others spend their entire careers teaching students not to do, which is take a shortcut to finish ahead.
And we all now where that usually gets us in the end, which is far behind.
Photo credit: iStock
More from Meredith on Strollerderby:
- ‘The Daddy Saddle’ and Other Hazardous Toys that Make Me Glad I Wasn’t a Parent in the ’50s and ’60s