Middle School Blogger Campaigns To Save Teacher’s Job

Back in March I wrote a post, A Blog is what you make of it, in which I mentioned introducing a ten-year-old boy to the concept of blogging.

That boy, Matthew J, is now blogging and may soon follow in the steps of Cecile Dubois, the LA schoolgirl who has attracted world-wide attention for her posts about her teachers and their inappropriate political viewpoints.

Matthew J lives with his grandmother, a really sweet lady who is still challenged by email, but he’s taught himself to set up websites and now has a blog on Xanga. Matthew seems to grasp the power of blogging, because one of his first posts was an effort to keep one of his teachers from being let go.

Ms Marion B Lang of the Fluvanna Middle School System in Fluvanna, Virginia could not hope for a more sincere champion. A gifted and enthusiastic teacher, she has apparently run afoul of some ignorant students and an overly cautious administrator.  I found a link to one of her school projects which will give you a  view of this woman’s level of contribution to the school.

Matthew J’s post is remarkably moving. I am quoting it here in its entirety, just as he wrote it:

conspiricy at FMS! year round program may crumble!

year round students have figured out not to long ago that Ms Marion.B.Lang’s contract is not being renewed and basically firing her. according to reports of newspapers, parents, and distressed students, Ms.Lang is a very influencial teacher and motovates students, plus, has provided a very friendly and unique work environment for all students in the year round program. The principal, Ms.Driver, quotes that "Ms. lang is a liability". in the course of an expiriment , involving melting suger, several students stuck their fingers in a beaker of HOT mollassess dispite the warnings provided by Ms.Lang and they got burned with the mollassess sticking to their fingers, thus getting blisters. those burned students went to the nurse and one, when they got home, told their mom and the upset parent complained to the principal and Ms.Lang was written up. then, later in the year,a student brought home a book from Ms.Langs classroom that their parent didnt approve of, and complained. Yet another strike. The non-renewal of the contract was decided February 1. Ms.Lang was notified march 11. BUT.. There is still hope! I might be able to, if i get enough good responses, send them to Dr.Thomas Smith, the super intendant of fluvanna county schools, and he may change his mind and address the positive responses to the members of the board of education, thus, changing their minds, and they might decide to keep Ms.Lang after they see all the responses to this artical.

You will not earn anything from doing this, but, you will earn the respect of the year round students and the knowing that you did something that helped about 150 students. please help and respond, for me, Ms.Lang, and the year round students.

I personally think that Ms Lang needs correction for letting herself get blind-sided by students who appear to be more opportunistic than uninformed, but I feel that this teacher is the rare person who ignites curiosity and the desire to excel in students who want to make something of their lives.

If there were a program for gifted students at FMS, she should be assigned there, but in any event, I think she should have a continuing opportunity to teach students at the Fluvanna Middle School.

You can read the Principal’s message where it states:

One of our goals at FMS is to provide our students with the best and
most meaningful educational experiences possible during their “middle
years”.

The FMS Mission Statement is also worth reading as it appears that Marion Lang was teaching in accordance with that document as well.

I think that Marion Lang was providing her students with a superior educational opportunity and deserves a chance to continue doing so. If you agree, you might want to send an email to Mrs. Kathi Driver, Principal at  kdriver@mail.fluco.org

To encourage Ms Lang, you may wish to send her an email at mblang@earthlink.net.

While you are in the emailing mood, you may also wish to copy the Superintendent of Schools,
Dr. Thomas W.D. Smith – twsmith@mail.fluco.org.

Good teachers are hard to find. We need to do everything possible to keep them producing miracles.

UPDATE: The  officers of the Parent Teachers Organization were deleted. See comment by B. Gibbons.

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0 Responses to Middle School Blogger Campaigns To Save Teacher’s Job

  1. Thanks for the update.

  2. B Gibbons says:

    Mr. St. Lawrence,

    I notice that your email address is not posted here. Please remove mine. It is a business email, you did not ask permission to post it.

    Additionally, the PTO has no input as to the renewal of teacher contracts. These are personnel issues and by nature personal. I am not and will not be involved in this matter.

  3. The PTO email addresses are prominently posted on the Fluvanna County Middle School web site for public use. Evidently B. Gibbons does not realize that being an officer of the PTO carries some responsibilities for communicating with the public.

    My email address is posted at the top left hand corner of my weblog. Anyone is free to send me email on subjects of interest.

  4. J. Scott says:

    I agree with everything you’ve said. It is obvious that Ms. Lang is one of the rare good teachers. So often, good teachers find themselves under assault, which drives them away, promulgating a cult of mediocrity.

    It’s kind of sad about Ms. Gibbons since keeping the best teachers should certainly be the concern of any PTO. I hope that if feels such matters are of no concern to her position, perhaps because she is too busy, that she would allow another parent to come in and take her place on the board.

  5. matt johnson says:

    Hey, David! wanted to tell you that I have another webblog.
    http://www.matthewj2.blogspot.com

  6. Cecile/Maia says:

    Just wanted to say: Go Matt! He’s ten?! Wow. Very impressive.

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