Watch a Duncanville Teen Deliver a Blistering Classroom Sermon on Lazy Teachers

In another era, Jeff Bliss' phillipic against lazy and uninspired teaching would have been witnessed by a few classmates and quickly forgotten. But this is the age of cell-phone cameras and YouTube, so we get to see the full sermon the Duncanville High School student directed at Julie Phung, his world history teacher.

The video clip doesn't provide much context for Bliss' outburst, but the speech, whatever preceded it, stands on its own. It's what every bored and disaffected public school student has always wanted to say but dared not to.

Bliss preaches:

You want kids to come into your class and want them to get them excited for this, you gotta come in here and make 'em excited. You want a kid to change and start doing better, you gotta touch his frickin' heart. You can't expect a kid to change if you just tell him. You've gotta take this job serious. This is the future of this nation. When you come in here like you did last time and make a statement like 'Oh this is my paycheck.' Indeed it is. But this is my country's future and my education. But there's a limit when I'm not bitching but simply making an observation.

Well said.


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95 comments
smflattery
smflattery

It's spelled "philippic," not "philipic." Thanks for reporting, though!

whatdidyousay30
whatdidyousay30

 Has anyone noticed the teacher's desk????? HOW HAS NO ONE NOTICED THIS!!! IT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING!!! She has blocked herself off from her students!! There is a miniature fridge FOR HEAVENS SAKE!!! It is as though she is psychologically separating herself from her students as though they are dangerous inmates!!!! My aunt is a teaching specialists who travels around the country in order to teach them how to teach students; it sounds redundant but unfortunately it is necessary. 

sherilenoir
sherilenoir

considering his history, this kid is money. It is difficult to learn when authority doesn't know how to teach. It is confusing to a child, to live up to an expectation of effort, when your teacher does not put in any. Children do as they see, and know not the complicated reasons that keep them from thriving.

And if you don't know HOW to learn, don't self motivate, don't have a high reading comprehension, don't have involved parents, you are doomed to live frustration every day. Wondering why you can't get it.

That's a lot for a kid. 

wontunow
wontunow

The principal needs to take this kid by the arm, then escort him to the principal's office.  And then bust his behind with a big paddle.

Mozartsghost
Mozartsghost

His hair? That's all you took from that? Wow. And since when does a public school official have ANY say in how a student wears their hair? I could perhaps see an exception if the hair was dirty or in a style that would be disruptive to class....

David Downing
David Downing

As a teacher, let me highlight some of the words that sound legible to you that you don't understand from studentspeak. "You have to teach me" doesn't mean instruction, lesson planning, activity or discourse... it means you put the knowledge in my head for me. "Some kids don't learn that way" means it's not the student's fault if we can't do your assignment. It's yours. "You have to make me excited" means that if I don't like your class or if I don't do my work then it isn't anything wrong with me. You see, if I can't do it... you failed me. If anything, the teacher did a good job of remaining calm and letting the kid finish his tirade without escalating the situation too far. I hate the encouragement we give kids to do things like this. Being disruptive and disrespectful during class is an inappropriate venue for voicing your opinion.

garlandsucks
garlandsucks

also this kid's picture is by the definition of wigger in the dictionary

GuitarPlayer
GuitarPlayer

I can't believe but am not surprised at the idiots complaining about this kid's methods, beliefs and motives. Holier than thou? I hope you folks didn't breed. It just shows why our schools and education system in this state are so fucked up. 

"I believe that somebody needed to say this. I want to see a teacher stand up and interact with the students, get involved, discuss, talk, question, and get deep into the subject,"  Jeff Bliss


Ambelleina Warwillow
Ambelleina Warwillow

He surely has a point, no matter what his educational background is. I had a teacher tell my entire class she "didn't care about" us and that "this job is only a paycheck to me." That was in 7th grade and I remember it clear as day 15 years later. Teachers DO impact lives, the decision whether that impact is positive or negative is up to them.

JustSaying
JustSaying

We need context. If Ms Phung was handing out "Sex Packets" by Digital Underground, then she is doing a great service by teaching future generations about The Humpty Dance.

DirtyP1
DirtyP1

Can we at least teach kids how to take videos? You turn your camera to the side dammit! 

As much as I agree with this kid, showing the teacher up in front of the entire class is inappropriate, this is why some teachers get walked on. When the kids see one person walk all over them, none of them will respect the teacher. 

I never looked at any of my regular classes in high school to be engaging or life forming. The honors classes were much more challenging and made you work harder. 

The elephant in the room here is if you expect schools in their current iteration of teaching your kids everything and engaging them everyday, then you're going to be letdown. Get good grades and go to college and then you can bitch to the professor about their class since you're paying so much for it. 

I'm glad this kid wants to learn, not every kid in that class will feel the same way. Hell, I love history, but I never complained when we watched movies every Friday because my teacher was the head basketball coach. 

This kid would probably complain if the class was too hard which in turn affected his grades, you can't win basically.

Anthony Parker
Anthony Parker

Not sure about his parting statement...how does someone take CREDIBILTY?? Credit, perhaps??

Diana Ramirez
Diana Ramirez

It's easy to just "do the work" and pass the class. But maybe the students actually want to engage and learn without having to sit around and read all period. That's why some of the best teachers I've had we're about to blend all teaching styles together.

Diana Ramirez
Diana Ramirez

He wasn't bullying her. He was telling her how he felt about the class and how she could improve on it. And she kicked him out.

garlandsucks
garlandsucks

being a hs teacher sucks, unless you were popular in hs and became a teacher to coach and flirt with 17 year olds.

Osvaldo Garcia
Osvaldo Garcia

That kid needs to be arrested for bullying a teacher.

mattm
mattm

I find it highly disheartening that the real problem of mediocrity and apathy are human traits that are learned and taught through behavior. They occur in every race for they are human characteristics. Instead of working together to address the real disease, people bicker about something as inconsequential as race. If you see something that needs addressing (like a teacher who obviously does not care about her student's education) actively work to change it. Be the change you want to see and stop arguing on a news article message board.

lolotehe
lolotehe

Looks like an English teacher failed to educate someone as well. 

It should be a "piece of this mind", not a "peace".

David McCollum
David McCollum

We don't need no education...we don't need no thought control...teacher leave those kids alone!

JalopenoGrigio
JalopenoGrigio

This video seems to be popping up everywhere, and I really don't think it says much without more context. Underclassmen HS students are taking the STAAR test this week, so it would make sense that students would be working on a review packet immediately prior to taking the test. It's also possible that they've been reviewing chunks of material, packet by packet, for a week or two leading up to this test, which could explain Jeff's frustration. Furthermore, since Jeff is 18 and a sophomore, it's entirely possible that he is on the TAKS track (and not the STAAR track), meaning that his class could be reviewing for a test that he's not even taking. I appreciate the gusto he shows in this video (I HOPE this kid is involved with Debate or some other form of public speaking - he's got some real passion), but without knowing more about the situation, the video mostly comes off as frustrated grandstanding.

Ricky Bobbie
Ricky Bobbie

Makes you wonder how a certain percentage of students ace everything and graduate with honors. It must be parents who are doing their job....or magic. This speech would hold more weight if it were from a honor student, not an 18 year old sophomore and former dropout. Anyway, I better get back to work. I don't want to appear lazy by posting on a social media site when I'm suppose to be working. Kind of ironic, isn't it?

Sharon_Moreanus
Sharon_Moreanus topcommenter

He'd be a little more convincing if he had deadlocks.

Sonya Kuris
Sonya Kuris

You can train a monkey to hand out a packet. This kid is awesome!

wontunow
wontunow

kid has a disrespectful mouth.  needs to get a haircut,too.

McCord Fluitt
McCord Fluitt

I'm sure Duncanville High rates average at best in those categories. I was just informing you of the current status of the women's basketball team.

bmarvel
bmarvel topcommenter

@wontunow Ah, the Ancient Wisdom of uncounted generations of men who have thought that the earth is flat, that women are to be kept pregnant and in the kitchen, and that you can get blood from a turnip provided you beat it hard enough.

DirtyP1
DirtyP1

@Mozartsghost I went to school during the early 90's, in our school handbook there were grooming standards, especially for boys. I could care less about his hair but if you're saying that noone has standards about things like that, you're wrong.

aivileaf
aivileaf

Apparently you don't seem to pick up on the complete apathy in her voice. She isn't remaining calm, she genuinely does not give a damn. Plus she apparently came in to a classroom whining about her pay check to her _students_. That is completely inappropriate, as is her attitude towards her class. Do you see how she has her desk set up? She is completely blocking the students out. She has a mini-fridge back there for crying out loud, and she was fiddling on her phone during his entire speech. On top of that he is _right_. Her shoving packets at them and not actually teaching the class is a problem. Different students learn in different manners. Personally I do not learn by reading what I am supposed to do, but by actually doing it. This means I might need a little more attention concerning how to do something, but I _want_ to do it. Instead of sitting behind that desk playing candy crush she should be going around the class to see if anybody needs help. "You have to teach me". Yes, she does have to teach her class. She has to instruct them and explain things to them. You know, do her job? "Some kids don't learn that way." You can't throw packets at kids and expect them to just 'get it'. Not everybody learns that way. It's a proven fact. As a teacher you should know these types of things. I feel bad for your class if you have such a narrow view point. "You have to make me excited." Keeping the attention of your students is part of your JOB! If your class is boring and you don't make your subject matter interesting, they won't _want_ to learn what you're teaching. You're just making things harder on yourself and on your students by not keeping their attention. It's not hard to get students interested and invested in what you're teaching them. There's this thing called effort, you know that thing you keep cramming down your students throats..telling them they should have it? Yeah, that goes for you too. 

DirtyP1
DirtyP1

@GuitarPlayer It's called college, it's where he should be at age 18, or get into an honors class. We're all onto a teacher we know nothing about, well let's help Bliss out and put him into all honors classes, agreed?

garlandsucks
garlandsucks

@GuitarPlayer applauding this 18 year old idiot are you.. celebrate idiocracy whheeee its a funnnn ride down the toilet bowl

bmarvel
bmarvel topcommenter

@DirtyP1 "I never looked at any of my regular classes in high school to be engaging or life forming."

And why was that so, Dirty? Do you imagine that this is the way it should be because this was the way it was for you?  How might it change? Do you think the humiliation of a few time-serving teachers might help change the situation? How do you propose changing schools "in their present iteration?" Or would you rather just speculate about what you imagine this kid would probably do?

You say you love history, but how much do you actually know? Where did you learn it? Not from a teacher, apparently.

If I owned a company and were looking to hire somebody that I could depend upon to put his finger right on the crux of a problem and to talk straight, I'd hire this kid in a second.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@DirtyP1 

Yeah, I saw the story on the news and watched the vid a couple of times. Kid totally comes off as holier-than-thou, and that's OK as far as it goes. Hard to get mad at a kid for wanting to have an engaged and engaging teacher.

His backstory seems to be that he dropped out of school for a brief period, but then decided that it was in his best interest to complete his HS education. Now, he's got what I call either ex-smoker or newly devout syndrome, where his zeal for education is necessarily incorporated into his day-to-day persona. Not to mention a few years on the rest of the classmates he's with, which at that age can seem like a lot from both perspectives. He seems to think he's pretty wise. (I suppose I probably thought that as well, at that age.)

I'd have to agree that although his goal is admirable, his methods are suspect and most likely, counterproductive in the long run.

And yeah, wide-format, please, on future videos.

bmarvel
bmarvel topcommenter

@JalopenoGrigio 

Nobody ever learned anything from a "review packet." The idea, even as test prep, is a piece of the indutrailization of the school system and the commodification of students that seems to be overtaking real learning. If you're comfortable with teaching by packets, you probably love the pre-cooked frozen industrial slop that in some fast-food joints passes for "food."  

bmarvel
bmarvel topcommenter

@wontunow Yeah, but he's right. He's diagnosed the problem and accurately prescribed the remedy. Does that count for anything?

Mozartsghost
Mozartsghost

I went to high school in the 70s and college in the 80s -both public ones, and we never had this kind of thing -that's a sad statement on what our society is going to. I'll take a wild guess that they require traditional gender roles like shorthair for males And girls can do whatever they want?

keeponkeepinitdown
keeponkeepinitdown

@garlandsucks @GuitarPlayer The bulk of guitarplayer's posts involve bestial fantasy and profanity. He probably identifies with the guy in this video in that they are both unemployable and blame everyone else for their own behavior.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@bmarvel @DirtyP1 

There are a few stories in history where the passion of a young idealistic person brings about a sea-change in the culture. Those are great stories, and there's a reason they are so memorable and celebrated. They are rare.

More often, change is brought about by the slow steady pressure of society blindly pushing forward, embracing what works and discarding what doesn't.

I can't fault this kid for speaking out, but P1 is right here, that this kid is grandstanding, and humiliating the placeholder-called-teacher may be an effective way to get noticed, but it's not going to be a great way to engage the opposition.

Personally, I would wait to see if he completes his HS degree this time before I would commit to hiring him.

JalopenoGrigio
JalopenoGrigio

@bmarvel I'm not supporting "teaching by packets", but considering the test controls students' graduation, it's probably a good idea to spend some time reviewing. But by all means, let's get rid of studying in the classroom so these kids can get some "real learning" done.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@bmarvel @TheCredibleHulk 

The grandstanding generates much needed attention, I'll give you that. But incrementalism really is how things get done in D.C., Austin and every other little place where two or more people meet to determine the best way to get something done.

bmarvel
bmarvel topcommenter

@TheCredibleHulk

"More often, change is brought about by the slow steady pressure of society"

That's what my Dad kept telling me in the 1950s, Hulk, when the first group of kids-- probably not much older than Jeff Bliss -- started the Woolworth sit-ins in Greensboro. Of course protest over a dull classroom teacher is not the moral equivalent of segregation. But the principle is the same: Things happen only after people decide they're not going to put up with the status quo.

Here the status quo is a system that discourages teachers from teaching and students from learning. And Bliss gave m the impression of someone who was desperate to learn. Was he grandstanding? Sure.You know of any way to protest without grandstanding? (The same charge was leveled at every civil Rights protestor who set foot in the South.) 

Personally, I guess we could wait for Bliss to complete HS, go on to college, maybe collect a few graduate degrees. Meanwhile, teachers will keep handing out "packets" of predigested history lessons and social sciences dreck turned out by some techno-industrial educational test factory while the moss slowly accumulates over the corpse of public education. in the 1950s we called that "gradualism."

DirtyP1
DirtyP1

@TheCredibleHulk @bmarvel @DirtyP1 My point bmarvel, is that in getting a public education, I don't expect the teachers to be giving you the same type of content that you'd receive at an institute of higher learning. In college, the kids want to be there. In public school, they're going because they have to. Also, for reference, I was 17 when I graduated(turned 18 in the summer.) Bliss is 18 as a SOPHOMORE. Did I care more the older I got? Of course. But he's in a sophomore history class. Do you think the mostly 15 year olds in that class give a crap about being engaged? No, they're trying to get a passing grade.  

Hire Bliss, I mean, he's 18 already so he can work all night, you'll just have to wait for him to get to work around 4pm everyday because he's still in high school. 

bmarvel
bmarvel topcommenter

@JalopenoGrigio Let's not confuse what you call "studying in the classroom" with teaching and learning in the classroom. 

Students -- and their teachers-- are caught in an impossible situation in which The Test and "studying" for The Test loom over everything, and teaching and learning are lost in he shadows.

Stuck in this predicament, certainly no teacher is going to rebel. Teachers are barely clinging to their livelihood as it is. But students have relatively little to lose, and so the occasional brave -- or foolhardy -- student who kicks up a fuss is really doing work the rest of us should be doing. 

JalopenoGrigio
JalopenoGrigio

@bmarvel  that's not to say that there's not creative ways to have students review, though. I'm just saying it's misleading to think "Packets? Shitty teacher!" when it's the week of (day before?) a major test like that. 

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