Remember when you would get detention for falling asleep in class? Well it looks like you won't get in trouble for it anymore- at least not in this teacher's classroom.
Monte Syrie, a high school English teacher in Washington, shared a Twitter thread that has restored our faith in humanity.
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) 16 May 2018
A student called Meg fell asleep in his class, so he let her sleep.
"She had zero-hour math, farm-girls chores, state-qualifying 4X4 fatigue, adolescent angst, and various other things to deal with," he wrote. "My class is only part fo her life, not her life."
While he is being praised to his empathy, he made a point of explaining that Meg turned in her essay later that day. His attitude towards sleeping students may "go against the grain", he trusted his instinct.
"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."
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— Monte Syrie (@MonteSyrie) 16 May 2018
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.— Monte Syrie (@MonteSyrie) 16 May 2018
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) 16 May 2018
Syrie knew that while she has a fully-packed schedule, she would still manage to get her work done- and she did.
But I can give her a break. 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. 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— Monte Syrie (@MonteSyrie) 16 May 2018
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. #myroom #project180— Monte Syrie (@MonteSyrie) 16 May 2018
“She, like all my kids, has shown signs of exhaustion/fatigue, but she had never fallen asleep before,” Syrie told Yahoo Lifestyle.
“I think any of my kids could nod off. It just happened to be Meg on that day. Have I had kids fall asleep in class before? Yes. Will I again? Yes. Am I suggesting that we just simply let kids, then, sleep in class? No. But I am suggesting that we practice compassion.”
Despite Mag's classmates being aware of her nodding off, they didn't appear to mind.
“And I think they didn't say anything because they get it. They did not cry foul. They live her same existence every day. They understand.”
Inspired by Syrie's kindness, others have been sharing their stories of times that teachers gave them a much-needed break.
You could have written this about my 17 yr old daughter. Teachers like you are such a blessing to our children.— Katherine Willis (@theKatWillis) 17 May 2018
My son who is 15 had a mental breakdown on Tuesday and the student success teacher let him sleep in his office and he called me said he did a professional judgement to allow this- I’m thrilled my son has someone he can go to and trust. What he did for my son was awesome— KimC (@LoveandFaith69K) 17 May 2018
When I was in HS my bf broke up with me, college applications were due, and I fell apart. I showed up to a test in tears. My teacher took me into the hall, told me it was OK, and sent me home. He let me take the test later. I will NEVER forget his kindness and empathy that day.— Zane Bauer (@ZanePants) 17 May 2018
As for Syrie, he will continue to allow a few cheeky naps.
“I will let kids sleep when the need requires. I would risk my career for it. Maybe I already have.”