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Kindergarten Teacher Is Seen Drinking And Cursing While Out With Friends And Two Moms Respond

CHENUA ACHEBE

Oct. 16, 2020

Being a teacher is an amazing choice to make. Teachers do so much for their students and for the families that they meet and serve.
Now more than ever, teachers are also under enormous pressure to make school work for their kids, no matter how school is being delivered. Teachers are also people just like the rest of us, and when they’re off the clock… well, they’re off the clock! Or that’s how it should be.
But one 27-year-old Kindergarten teacher shared that it turns out… that’s not really how it’s worked out for her. She was recently out with two friends, grabbing drinks and chatting while celebrating her birthday, when two moms who were out with their kids spotted her.
It turns out the moms have kids in the woman’s class, and they weren’t exactly pleased with what they witnessed.
The teacher shared the experience on Reddit:
She says that she and her friends weren’t doing anything particularly inappropriate.
“Through dinner, I’m just enjoying my time with my friends. I have a few glasses of wine and get a little tipsy (not rowdy or obnoxious or anything). I’m conversing normally with my friends, occasionally using cuss words. Not excessively, just the way some people would in every day conversation. Maybe a little more than I would have if I were not tipsy, but again, I’m not speaking loudly or anything. Just having normal conversations with my friends.”
Apparently, one of the moms didn’t think it was appropriate for her child’s adult teacher to have the audacity to behave like an adult.
“One of the moms then comes over to me and reminds me that my students were there, and that I shouldn’t be drinking and cursing in front of them. Since I’m their teacher, it was my job to set a good example to them. I just told her I was off the clock and that if it was bothering her, she could move or stop listening to me. She got all huffy, and they soon left.”
It probably surprises zero people who are reading along that this didn’t play out well for the teacher. Luckily, her principal had her back.
“Earlier this week, I was called down by the principal who was with that mom in his office. She was angry and complained that I was setting a bad example for my students. And now her daughter was using some of the same words I was using, saying that if her teacher can say it, so can she. He asked for my side of the story, and I just explained exactly what happened. Given that she verified my story, he told her that I was not their teacher at the time, and since I wasn’t doing anything wrong, they couldn’t control my behavior off the clock.”
Even though the principal defended her, he had some words of caution.
“She protested a bit, but eventually left, but called me a terrible teacher. I thanked the principal for backing me up, but then he suggested maybe that one time I should have just stopped drinking and using foul language. I really didn’t think this was a problem, since wasn’t acting out. Just talking casually and enjoying a couple glasses of wine. But am I really the [expletive] for drinking and using foul language in front of my students while off the clock?”
She also edited her post to clarify that she really wasn’t doing or saying anything especially egregious.
“Edit: I was not loud or belligerent or excessively drunk. I had two glasses of wine. And when I say I was tipsy, that’s a bit of an exaggeration. It takes more than two glasses of wine for me to start feeling anything. I wasn’t screaming obscenities. I was just using slightly foul language in casual conversation (‘It’s too damn hot to be fall. ‘)”
The top comment is from someone who points out that not only is she not a teacher 24/7, the moms had the chance to teach their kids something here and failed to.
“They can’t expect you to be the teacher 24/7.
Also it’s a nice teachable moment the mothers could have used, but chose not to.
Words don’t have power, unless you give them power. [Expletive] is just a 4 letter word, no different than ‘ball’. Teachers are people, too.”
But another teacher chimed in and said that, unfortunately, this kind of thing is part of the job.
“Eh, but I can say as a teacher, one of the things they warn you in college and at orientation for a job is that you do represent the school. Technically, because she said hi to them, that means she’s recognizing them as students and is representing the school by default (arguably). It’s a gray area that’s always worried me because I’m young and teach high school, but as long as I don’t go viral, wear school apparel, or is during school hours they cant do anything.”
However… as quickly as one person said this is just how it is, another said “not so fast.”
“I had an education fellowship in undergrad where I was part of this like education society for my state and they basically told everyone that they should be a teacher 24/7. Don’t go out, don’t drink publicly—if you were buying alcohol in a grocery store make sure you hide it if you see a family you teach coming towards you or around you. Set a good example at all times no matter what. Now that I’m student teaching (and can legally drink because these kids just drive me to it sometimes) I realize what a load of [expletive] they were feeding us.
Yeah, be cognizant of your surroundings and how you act, but teachers shouldn’t have to become hermits.”
Based on these responses, it seems that a lot of teachers are caught in quite a predicament. Obviously, they are people and should be allowed to behave as such… but do they owe their students a certain expectation of behavior all the time?
There are other relevant questions, too. For starters, do the moms react this way every time their children witness adults being adults in the world?
A few people suggested that the teacher should have asked to be moved to another table, but she and her friends had already been at the restaurant. One person flipped it: why didn’t the moms asked to be seated elsewhere?
“TBH if the parents had a problem they should have moved especially since they were seated after. Its a lot easier to ask a server to be seated somewhere else before you sit down then to have been seated, have a bill, then ask a whole table to move(it also seems like OP had a group while the mom had only. few).
Also it seems a bit [expletive] of the parent to expect the person to change their behavour when they could have been seated somewhere else themselves. It seems like the parent is entitled especially since they went to the principal to complain about it when there seemed to be such an easy resolution.”
At the end of it, it seems most people are united in one idea: teaching is a job, not a lifestyle to adhere to constantly.
“Teaching is just a job, not a 24/7 lifestyle. You don’t need to be a professional off the job because your job cannot control what you do in your personal life, simple as that. As long as what you’re doing is legal, it is no one’s business at all.”
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