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High school teacher sparks debate by sharing her unorthodox classroom rules: 'It helps my students'

This teacher does not care about whether or not you are doing your homework or bringing food to her class. However, some parents think she is being too lenient.

High school teacher sparks debate by sharing her unorthodox classroom rules: 'It helps my students'
Cover Image Source: TikTok | @christina_pina

Many teachers introduce innovative teaching methods or classroom policies according to their liking or the school's orders. Some of these unconventional changes in the classroom environment have sparked a lot of debate amongst parents, students and netizens for a long time. Recently, a high school teacher named Christina Pina—who goes by @christina_pina on TikTok—shared the list of things and practices she does not care about in her classroom and it has created some heated debate in her comment section.

 Image Source: TikTok | @christina_pina
Image Source: TikTok | @christina_pina

Pina appears to be a lenient teacher who is not concerned about many stereotypical "teacher things" in her class, as she shares a list of them in the background of her video. She starts one of her videos by declaring that she is well aware of how it will create a discourse amongst her viewers, but she does not get paid enough to care about minor classroom policies like these as it does not help the students learn anything new either.

"My classroom still hasn't burned down, and I think it helps my students to learn because I don't enforce these rules," she says in her video. Pina points out how she does not care if a student has brought their pencil to the class or not, which is apparently considered a big deal. "You don't have a pencil? I have a pencil for you. Take one every day. I have them scattered all around the room. I am not mad at you for not having a pencil," she remarks.

 Image Source: TikTok | @christina_pina
Image Source: TikTok | @christina_pina

"It's my job to teach you my content. I'd rather my students grab the pencil real quick and get started," Pina continues with her list. "Bring your breakfast. Bring your lunch. You cannot be effective in my class if you're starving, if you're hungry, eat your breakfast. I had a student bring a full dragon fruit the other day. Just don't interrupt, don't be loud, don't share it, don't throw your chips across the room. Careful of allergens. Eat your breakfast though." Pina is surprisingly okay with her students arriving late to the class. She won't embarrass the kids by asking them why they are late in front of their peers.

Also, she does not assign homework because she is well aware of how it does nothing good to them. These students often Google everything and they eventually don't learn anything new. "There's almost no research that proves that students are learning, so I never give homework," she says. Uncharged computers, syllabus signatures, per-day late penalties and after-school makeup time aren't her concern either, as she said in her follow-up video.

 Image Source: TikTok | @christina_pina
Image Source: TikTok | @christina_pina

When it comes to the dress code, this teacher simply does not care. "I will not be enforcing a dress code in my classroom, in the hallways, anywhere. You know that we're policing women's bodies through this. If you felt comfortable, you felt safe in that outfit, wear it," she adds. "I also don't lie to my students and tell them that everything is graded. I try to build fun activities and things that actually promote learning. Students see their own progress through these games," she said in her third video.

Representational Image Source: Pexels | 
RDNE Stock project
Representative Image Source: Pexels | RDNE Stock project

Pina explains how some teachers are against giving rewards to their students, but she is poles apart from them. "You know, some teachers are really against rewards. They think that they promote the wrong things and that students will only work for these incentives. I do not think that's the case. I think everyone, adults included, loves a little candy, a little incentive," she concludes. Her comment section was soon flooded with comments from people who supported her and some of them criticized her for being too lenient.

Image Source: TikTok | @jbeanne71
Image Source: TikTok | @jbeanne71
Image Source: TikTok | @m.n.schultzy
Image Source: TikTok | @m.n.schultzy

@aeonwintermute joked, "Pencils I don’t care until you start breaking my pencils at the end of class and throwing them away." @oju721 questioned, "What grade do you teach? In my school, we are expected to teach them organizational skills." @rc0006 commented, "This is amazing! I’ve seen teachers get mad at elementary school students for being late. It’s quite literally not a 7-year-old's fault if the parent brings them late."

@imgonech remarked, "I agree! Just it's hard for me when people eat in class because I have misophonia so it's really hard for me to focus at all. I just get so irritated!" @charms369 added, "Wow it’s so wonderful to see someone prioritizing what is important and being able to see the human side of people. Your students must love you." It's lucky to have understanding and compassionate teachers like Pina and her students must be learning a lot from her unconventional methods, though it's still quite controversial to some.

Editor's note: This article was originally published on October 4, 2023. It has since been updated.

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