This Teacher’s Surprising Reason For Letting A Student Nap In Class Will Brighten Your Day
The classroom is usually a great place to broaden your horizon. However, it also comes with exam pressure and lofty expectations which can sometimes get too much. Luckily, Monte Syrie, a High School English teacher in Washington, gets this as he’s seen it in his classroom more frequently than he would like. He has witnessed the highs and lows of a teaching career, and one recurrent issue is what to do when students sleep in class.
While most teachers would wake the student immediately, Monte realized that sometimes the common response isn’t always the best. So, he let his student sleep, and the reason will blow you away. Why would Monte let a student sleep? Let’s find out.
Introducing Monte, A High School Teacher
Monte Syrie teaches at Cheney High School near Spokane, Washington, and has been on the job for 25 years. He has always advocated challenging the status quo in education and started a project to back this up in 2016.
There were a few things that matched up to Monet’s dream to find better for himself and his students. Therefore, Monte didn’t hesitate to act when the opportunity came to revolutionize how teachers reacted to students sleeping in school.
Sleepy Meg Enters The Scene
While Meg looks like a lazy and disrespectful teenager to most people; the truth couldn’t be further from that. Meg’s life at home wasn’t smooth sailing as most people would assume. Like every adolescent, school was just a part of her life. Meg was carrying a lot on her shoulder, and no one seemed to notice.
Meg was a hardworking student who didn’t want to appear disrespectful towards her teacher. However, it seemed like Meg didn’t care about Monte’s class by sleeping in class. That wasn’t the truth; she had a secret burden weighing her down.
Meg’s Secret Burden
Although there are many difficult kids out there, Meg isn’t one of them. She just had a challenging schedule outside of school. Her schedule was hectic, and she found very little time in the midst of it all to sleep.
When Meg got to school on that fateful day, she couldn’t help but lay her head on the desk to catch a quick nap. Although Meg always claimed that she was fine and could handle her schedule, no one knew how heavy it was till she slept in Monte’s class.
Early Morning Training Sessions
Meg was great at school, but that wasn’t all she excelled at. She was also on the track team and was training for a 4X400 race. She began her day by training with her track team and had little energy left for the rest of her academics and other activities.
But Meg had no choice. She needed to keep her grades up in order to stay on the team. She had been doing this for a long while and didn’t expect the exhaustion to creep up on her in class, but it unfortunately did.
Pushing Through Class Schedules
Although Meg was usually exhausted from training with her track team, she had to attend classes. She went through class after class, willing her body to stay alert. But if you looked closely, you could see that she was struggling.
Meg hid her exhaustion well, so no one could tell this just by looking at her. Beyond being tired, her lifestyle was taking a toll on her as well. But no one could have guessed just how much until the very moment she slept in class.
A Busy Life at Home
You’d be surprised to know that school and being on the track team weren’t all Meg had to handle. She lived on a farm and had to put in a day’s work like everyone else. Most times, this meant early mornings and late nights for Meg.
Meg had the task of feeding the horses on their farm. She also cared for their other needs before leaving for school, which meant there was little to no time for sleep. With less sleep at home and no time to rest in school, it was only a matter before Meg slipped up.
Trying Her Very Best
Although it wasn’t the best of all situations, Meg was dealing with it the best way she could. She woke up early enough for her chores and always made it in time for her training. But one day, Meg couldn’t hold it together and cracked, just like all the strong people out there.
She was overwhelmed by the things she had to do, and this caused her to miss a critical essay. She didn’t want this to happen, but there was little she could do about it.
Exhausted From It All
When Meg walked into class that morning, Monte could tell something was different. It was a big day in his class as the students had to write and turn in an essay to be graded. But something was different with Meg; she was beginning to crack under pressure.
When she began to doze away at her desk, Monte knew he had to do something about it, but his reaction was not something you would ever expect.
Missing an Important Essay
Meg’s secret was now out. She couldn’t handle the demands of her life. It was time to turn in an essay, and she had fallen asleep. Letting her sleep meant she couldn’t write her essay, and she would obviously fail.
However, that’s not what happened. Monte didn’t let that happen. Nobody expected Monte’s reaction to Meg falling asleep, missing the whole class, and not writing the important essay.
Making a Decision
It seemed like Meg was lazing in class at first glance, but he didn’t want to take the road more traveled. Of course, Monte didn’t want to encourage sleeping in school, but he also had to consider many factors before taking action on Meg.
The classroom was a place for learning and not taking naps. Monte was at a crossroads at first, but finally, he came to a decision, and it’s not one you would expect.
Changing the Status Quo
What did Monte do? He decided not to beat her up about sleeping in class. That’s right! While Monte didn’t particularly enjoy his student sleep in school, he chose to be empathetic about the whole situation.
Megan savoured her much-needed nap in Monte’s class. But of course, this didn’t mean that she didn’t use her time wisely in class or turn her essay in that day. Monte chose to take a leap with her and it paid off. Letting kids sleep in class was outside the boundaries, but he trusted his instincts this day.
Taking Leaps Outside the Boundary
The norm is that when a student sleeps in class, the teacher wakes them up. That’s how it works, right? But Monte decided to go against the grain because he had never believed that kids were being considered whilst setting the standards.
In a different class, Meg would have received a zero for missing an essay and might have been written up for sleeping in class. But this was Monte’s class, and he was determined to handle the situation differently.
Why Make That Decision?
Monte recognized that only a few things were within his control outside the classroom. He could neither perform her house chores nor run her track races for her. He couldn’t get rid of her teen problems, but one thing he could do to set things right for Meg was to give her a break.
Why did Monte do what he did? He wanted to believe that cutting Meg some slack would come back to him in a good way. He acknowledged that things outside his classroom were crucial to making the things within count, and he was going to give her the benefit of the doubt.
One Good Turn Deserves Another
Luckily, Monte didn’t have to hound Meg about turning in her essay. She recognized her teacher’s good deed and was determined not to let him down. Meg turned in her essay electronically at 9 pm that night.
Monte understood enough to let her turn it in. He ran into Meg at the grocery store at 6:45 am the next morning, and she proudly shared that she was done with her essay already. Her chores weren’t going away, but she was determined to make up for her lapses in class the previous day.
An Inspiration to Many
When Monte shared this story on Twitter, people went crazy. The responses were overwhelming, and parents ran to comment that they wished he had taught their children. Many people praised him for his understanding of the situation, and it wasn’t long before his story was viral.
Teachers wanted to be like him; students wanted him as their teacher, and parents wanted him as a for their kids. But this was only the beginning because Monte had a secret of his own.
Unveiling Monte’s Secret Project
Monte’s always had a passion for teaching, leading him to start Project 180. This project is dedicated to changing the education system. Monte has a blog focused on his lifelong goal of shaking up the teaching system, and that’s exactly what he’s doing.
By taking an alternative route with Meg’s story, Monte showed the world that going against the grain when it benefits kids is sometimes the right option. The best part of it all? Monte isn’t the only one.
You’re Not Alone
After sharing his post, Monte soon learned that he wasn’t alone in his thoughts and actions. Like him, many teachers also advocated trusting your instinct when dealing with kids.
Monte wanted the world to know that teachers weren’t producing products in the classroom but helping humans grow, and he soon found out he had an overwhelming support. Teachers shared their experiences underneath his post about letting students sleep in class when it looked like the best option for them.
The Negative Nellies
Although many people believed Monte did the right thing with Meg, some nay-sayers believed that he could have handled the situation differently. Some teachers shared that Monte could have woken her up and asked her to take a short walk to become alert.
A teacher shared that allowing that behavior to take place meant other students considered it tolerable. Another teacher shared that a classroom is a place of learning, not a bedroom, and Monte shouldn’t encourage such.
What Happened to Meg?
Monte’s compassion towards her inspired Meg in many ways. She pulled her life today, and she’s doing great in academics, her track left, and at home. Although a hectic schedule isn’t always easy to manage, Meg is doing an excellent job these days.
Thanks to Monte, she’s determined to get through. Monte and Meg’s story shows that one person can change another’s life. The teachers and their actions shape education, and Monte is shaking things up.
Compassion Always Wins
The story of Monte and Meg is a heartwarming and inspiring one. Through his actions, Monte showed that teachers can be more understanding and kind if they want to. Although he couldn’t help her with her chores or training, he could let her take a break.
Sometimes, a break is just what a student needs to become more determined in school. As Monte has shown, sometimes the nicest thing you can do for your students is to let them lay their heads down and sleep.