I think this particular case has more to do with a teacher's lack of tact than "too much knowledge."
I agree that sometimes public education gets too bogged down in being afraid to do anything that isn't politically correct, but I don't think this is what happened here.
It sounds to me that "Jennifer" wasn't "too knowledgeable", but being tactless. This is much the same way a teacher has to be very careful when discussing religion, race, sex, etc. She didn't have to tell the kids "I don't know", but she could've put it a bit more delicately. For example:
"So anyway," I said to the class, "back in Shakespeare's day, when people were far more familiar with the Bible than they are now . . .
That's an indelicate statement if I've ever heard one. I can see how a devoutly christian student would take offense to this . . . "back in Shakespeare's day" a lot more people were illiterate . . . I can see how this can make someone feel the teacher is telling them they don't know very much about their own religion. I'd be a little put off myself--but mostly because she just sounds really snotty here.
Wow, wow, wow. Today, for the first time, I learned that someone I don't even know has linked to my Web page, and then I get home and found THIS! My poor boyfriend will just have to deal with the fact that I'll be positively OOZING smugness all night.
Methinks he's already been dealing with that for some time now . . .
I actually did have an administrator advise me once that I would "get more respect from the boys if you made yourself less pretty." Since the administrator in question was considerably less than pulchritudinous herself, I merely shrugged it off.
I'm not even gunna touch that one, except for pointing out that it makes her sound even more vain . . . and tossing around words like "pulchritudinous" just makes you sound even more arrogant and pretentious.
My contract was non-renewed for various reasons circled on a form-letter, including "insufficient respect for student-body diversity" and "does not motivate students to participate in the learning process." (I'm paraphrasing a bit here; I have the actual form stashed away somewhere but don't feel like digging it out.)
You can't even motivate yourself to look for a form. I can't imagine why the students were bored with you.
Almost every member of the student body was a Roman Catholic of Portuguese descent; in the point-by-point rebuttal I wrote after losing my job, I mentioned the "diversity" charge and wrote "If I didn't respect it, that's only because it wasn't there."
I'll admit, I was pissed off and non-sober. Bad combination. Add to that the knowledge that I no longer had a damn thing left to lose, and the result was pretty scathing.
Sounds very unprofessional to me. "They're all a bunch of Portuguese Catholics, there's no diversity to respect!" And that she wrote her rebuttal while drunk doesn't make her sound any better at all.
She goes on to complain about how teachers are expected to continue taking courses to "keep their knowledge of subject current." Some gems:
I could justify that by making two points: first, if doctors make mistakes people will die, and second, medicine truly does evolve over time, and doctors today have tools available that they wouldn't have had twenty years ago.
Compare that to literature: as a little girl I learned that Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote The Scarlet Letter, a book using an adulterous woman to demonstrate the hypocrisy of Puritan values. When I got to college Hawthorne was *still* the author of the Scarlet Letter, which still dealt with the themes of hypocrisy and such; Hawthorne will likely remain the author of the book, which will continue to discuss hypocrisy, long after I am dead.
One of the whole reasons the classics are still read and taught and important
is that they're relevant. Our changing world and current events shape our perceptions of these works, new criticisms are published all of the time, and various classic works fall in and out of favor . . . Literature isn't some frozen slab of stone, never changing, new authors write new books which eventually become classics as well. Of *course* you have to stay current! If she really had a passion for literature, one would expect her to continue studying it!!
I agree with her on some points--she mentions that the adminstration chided her for giving a D-minus student a zero on a paper that was copied word-for-word off of the internet because it would keep him from graduating and that was too harsh . . . mmmkay, kick that administrator firmly in the kneecaps . . . but some of her complaints I just find appalling and frankly, I'm not that surprised she didn't make tenure. (FWIW, she wasn't truely "fired" as her school district hires on an "at-will" basis for the first three years, afterwards they must be tenured or let go.)