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Other Than the Propaganda, 'Glee' Get Absolutely Nothing Right About Teaching

Other Than the Propaganda, 'Glee' Get Absolutely Nothing Right About Teaching


Oh hello Big Hollywood readers. And hello to all of the super wonderful people I met last week in Washington D.C. at CPAC. I love that so many of you enjoy reading these Glee recaps, and every time I heard, “I don’t even watch the show but I love your analysis,” or “Thank you for giving me some insight so I can talk to my teenager about it,” I smiled like an idiot. Not because I am one, but just because hearing nice things like that makes me stupid happy.


It’s been over a week since the Ricky Martin episode aired, and I considered skipping the write-up, but it has to do with education, which is a topic I care greatly about. Some immigration issues were raised as well, which is another topic for which I feel no small amount of passion.

So here’s what happened. The episode began with the announcement to the teachers that a tenured position had opened up, and they were all being considered for it. My first thought was WTF? Don’t all teachers get tenure after three years? I majored in elementary education in California ten years ago, and that is what we were taught.

Since I never take things I thought I once knew as absolute fact, I skipped over to Google to check on the teacher tenure requirements in Ohio, the state where the show is set. I found that Ohio does indeed have some strict tenure laws, as most states require three to five years of service before tenure is granted, while Ohio requires seven.

Did you catch that? It has nothing to do with a limited number of positions being available, that teachers must fight for. It’s simply a timing issue. Manage not to get fired for x-amount of years, then they’ll never be able to fire you. “Glee” is making it seems like teachers are all altruistic public servants who choose to educate children over another job where they could’ve had a higher income and more job security. By the way, I looked it up. Teachers in Ohio make 151% of what the average employee in Ohio makes.

Side Note – I know there are a lot of amazing teachers out there, and I’m grateful you exist. I just don’t like it when Hollywood propagandizes audiences to support teachers’ unions under the guise of helping teachers. It’s super annoying.

Anyway, back to the show. Mr. Schue asks the principal what he could do to snag the tenured position. He suggests that, as the Spanish teacher, he learn Spanish. Again, WTF? Why doesn’t the Spanish teacher know Spanish? And why on earth would a non-Spanish speaking Spanish teacher believe himself worthy of tenure?

Mr. Schue, bless his gringo heart, goes to night school to learn some Spanish. His teacher is played by Ricky Martin, who by the way sings and dances a super sexy cover of LMFAO’sSexy and I Know It. Way hot. Wow. Ok, we better move along…

The episode concludes with Will Schuester giving up his position as the Spanish teacher to Ricky Martin’s character, who confesses, “My parents had to lie about their citizenship to go to high school… and now I’m teaching it. That’s the American dream, isn’t it?” Because as everyone knows, the American dream is to lie to get yourself ahead, no matter whom it harms. Or something.

Don’t worry, we’re not losing our favorite glee club coach, he’s decided to set up camp in the history department, which, aside from singing, is his real passion. Meanwhile, his fiancé Emma gets the tenure, which she really deserved. You know, if the whole thing weren’t completely made up.

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