A high school teacher’s reaction to a sleeping student has gone viral for all the right reasons.
This high school teacher went viral for letting his student sleep in class. And he had a great reason to do so!
Monte Syrie, a high school English teacher, let a student have a sweet nap during class. No, he was not a reckless man who disrespects his job. He was a man teaching his students, and the whole Twitter society, a lesson of kindness.
In a viral Twitter thread, Syrie revealed why he decided to let Meg sleep instead of lashing out at her for not paying attention. The student even missed an in-class essay, but her teacher had no problem with that. Here is why:
Meg fell asleep in class yesterday. I let her. I didn't take it personally. She has zero-hour math, farm-girl chores, state-qualifying 4X400 fatigue, adolescent angst, and various other things to deal with. My class is only a part of her life, not her life. No, she did not use
— Monte Syrie (@MonteSyrie) May 16, 2018
The thread continues with Syrie explaining that although Meg “did not use her time wisely in class,” she managed to make up for that by sending her essay later that night.
The English teacher wrote:
“I know we all somewhat subscribe to this notion that there’s a right way of doing things, and letting kids sleep in class falls outside the boundaries. I get it, and I’m not suggesting that we make it a permanent part of repertoire /routine, but I am suggesting that we sometimes trust our instincts, even if it goes against the grain, maybe especially if it goes against the grain, for I am not always convinced the grain best considers kids.”
“In a different room, Meg may have been written up for sleeping in class and given a zero for a missing essay, but she wasn’t in a different room; she was in my room. My room.”
And in my room there are lots of things I CAN do. I can't control the world outside. I can't offer Meg a math class later in the day. I cannot feed her horses (many horses) in the morning or evening. I cannot run 6 race-pace 300's for her. I cannot spirit away her teen trouble.
— Monte Syrie (@MonteSyrie) May 16, 2018
The kindhearted teacher continued listing the reasons why he chose to let Meg have a nap instead of punishing her for it.
He pointed out that the least he could do for her is give her a break, having in mind her immensely busy schedule. Syrie said:
“She was not being rude or disrespectful yesterday when she nodded off. She was tired. So I gave her a break. I can do that.”
Not long after, Meg thanked him in the best way a student can express gratitude for a teacher:
“And I want to believe, I have to believe–else my life is a lie, that it will come back in the end. And it did. Meg got her essay done. In fact, serendipitously, she proudly told me so when I ran into her at the grocery store at 6:45 this morning. She was getting some breakfast before her 7:10 math class. She’d been up since 5:00 doing chores.”
As per Upworthy, Syrie commented:
“I think too often the biggest thing that people forget about high school students is that they are kids. They’re kids — kids who are having to grow up way too fast and are having way too much pressure put on them, in and out of school … even for our best and brightest, that pressure gets to be too much.”
The response this English teacher got for his wholesome story was overwhelming.
Although there were a few negative comments, most social media users who stumbled upon Syrie’s thread were touched by his story.
This is the reason I use social media. I was fortunate to have Sy as a teacher in high school and witness his acts of kindness on a daily. Now the world is getting to know just how extraordinary he is. Past, current, and future teachers: @MonteSyrie is the example to follow. https://t.co/oPAN8xo0gY
— Alexa Shaw (@AlexaShaw21) May 18, 2018
— Maria Riverso (@RiversoMaria) May 17, 2018
This is the kind of teacher I try to be. I don’t think I was this kind of teacher when I started teaching, or even five years ago. We don’t teach our content areas, we teach kids. Thank you, @montesyrie, for sharing Meg’s story. https://t.co/gRiVPOEp7Q
— Mrs. Chow (@MrsChow1) May 18, 2018
Syrie also shared a few words for the teachers believing that allowing a student to sleep in class doesn’t prepare them for the “real world.”
“We are not working in factories, stamping out standardized products. We are helping young humans — unique individuals — learn about themselves and their worlds. As such, when our young humans face the inevitable pressures of growing up, we need to respond with empathy.
And if that does not prepare them for the ‘real world’ as some may suggest, then maybe the world needs to change. I want to live in a world where there’s empathy. That’s the world I want to live in.”
What do you think of this teacher’s lesson of kindness and empathy? Let us know in the comment section!