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Classroom Technology

When Teachers Read Mean Tweets by Their Students

By Ross Brenneman — March 11, 2014 1 min read

A quick public-service reminder, courtesy of some teenagers in California: The Internet is publicly accessible. And even teachers have feelings.

In an empathy-building project, students at Los Alamitos High School, Calif., rounded up some of their teachers this month and had them read mean tweets about themselves as part of a TV production project for the school’s “Griffin News” program.

The students’ video is a take on the popular recurring segment from “Jimmy Kimmel Live” in which celebrities read genuinely awful tweets about themselves to the music of R.E.M.'s “Everybody Hurts.” That segment is part of an apparently genuine crusade by Jimmy Kimmel to get people to be nicer on the Internet, as also evidenced by a pre-Academy Awards bit this year in which he chided Americans for mocking celebrity outfits on the red carpet. (Never mind that Kimmel’s address contained some meanness itself.)

Several of the teacher-related tweets aren’t actually mean, per se. For example, I don’t think it’s particularly cruel to point out that if someone lost his hair, he would look like X-Men‘s Charles Xavier. (And I speak as someone who, on innumerable occasions, has been asked to sing songs by the band Flight of the Conchords due to a passing resemblance to singer Jemaine Clement.)

But many of the tweets also manage to cut in a way that only adolescents can, even if a number of the teachers seemed to take them in stride.

(H/T Time)

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.