too lax?

This High School Teacher's Untraditional Classroom Rules Are Causing An Internet Uproar

Some parents think her rules are way too lenient.

Originally Published: 
One high school teacher caused controversy after sharing some of the “teacher things” that she truly...
@christina_pina / TikTok

The discourse over classroom policies seems like a never-ending saga. Should kids be assigned homework? Is taking a child’s cellphone away a violation of their rights? What about bathroom breaks? Totally needed or an excuse to get out of class? Parents, teachers, and administrators go back and forth on what are the “right” boundaries and rules for school-aged children.

One high school teacher is causing a bit of controversy over on TikTok after sharing some of the “teacher things” that she truly doesn’t care about and lets go of when it comes to her classroom.

High school teacher, Christina Pina, swears that her decision to be a little more lax in the classroom helps her students instead of hinders them.

“My classroom still hasn't burned down, and I think it helps my students to learn because I don't enforce these rules,” she began.

Apparently pencils are a big deal in some classrooms, but Pina says she doesn’t care if one of her students doesn’t have one.

“You don’t have a pencil? I have a pencil for you. Take one everyday. I have them scattered all around the room. I am not mad at you for not having a pencil,” she said before explaining that her job as a teacher is not to help her kids learn organization.

“It’s my job to teach you my content. I’d rather my students grab the pencil real quick, and get started.”

Secondly, she is totally okay with students eating during class.

“Bring your breakfast. Bring your lunch. Share with me. You cannot learn in my class. You cannot be effective in my class if you're starving, if you're hungry, eat your breakfast. I don't care what it is. I had a student bring a full dragon fruit the other day,” she said.

“Eat something, it's better than nothing. 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.”

One “teacher thing” that had some people in a tizzy because Pina doesn’t care about is tardies. She is okay with her students being late to her class.

“I just do not care what you're tardy. I mean, I care, but I will not ask you in front of the whole class why you're late,” she said.

“If you're late, I'm glad you're here. I'm gonna tell you good morning. I'm gonna make you feel welcome. Glad you made it.”

Pina also does not assign homework to her students, taking on a trend that some teachers are catching onto based on research that shows evidence that homework really has no benefits to students and might actually do more harm than good.

“I do not assign homework. I can't remember the last time I assigned homework. I specifically do not make anything that is specifically homework,” she explained. “But have you seen these students? They take a picture of everything. They Google everything. None of the things that you've told them to do in their house have been done by themselves. None of those things have been learned.”

“There's almost no research that proves that students are learned, so I never give homework. To combat this, however, I do work bell to bell ... when you walk in the classroom, we are learning almost until the bell rings. I'm pretty annoying. I'm using those 45 minutes.”

She also doesn’t care if she has to assist a student with an uncharged computer, syllabus signatures (which she says are “archaic”), and “per day late penalties.”

When it comes to dress code, Pina 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. No. Not my business. If you felt comfortable, you felt safe in that outfit, wear it,” she said.

Pina will do everything in her power to avoid after-school makeup tests or quizzes and doesn’t really care about every single task or assignment being graded. She also is a huge supporter of using candy and incentives in her classroom.

“I also don't lie to my students and tell them that everything is graded. I try to build in fun activities and things that actually promote learning. Students see their own progress through these games,” she said.

She explained, “You know, some teachers are really against rewards. They think that they promote the wrong things, that students will only work for these incentives. I do not think that's the case. I think everyone, adults included, love a little candy, a little incentive.”

After her videos went viral, thousands of TikTok users flooded Pina’s comment section causing major discourse with some agreeing with her unconventional rules and others arguing that she was way too lenient in her classroom.

“Other teachers should take note. This is how you teach. Stopping class to shame a child for not having a pencil just takes away time from everyone!” one user wrote.

Another echoed, “Thank you for letting your students be human”

A fellow teacher wrote, “This is so me! And I agree with all but the syllabus & that’s mostly just to cover me, and I give extra credit if it’s brought back.”

“Yesss this makes sense🙂 I just don’t believe in a missing signature significantly impacting their grade,” the OP replied.

Another teacher wrote, “as a middle school teacher I agree... except for food in class...the yeahs and food bits left behind plus the need to”

Pina wrote back, “I can see this being an issue for younger kiddos. Luckily my HS students clean up & keep it to themselves”

One user questioned Pina’s policies and wrote, “But we all need to be on the same page…That’s the memo from admin. ALL teachers having consistent expectations. So hard for me.”

Another said, “I know people don't behave in your class if u have these rules 😭.”

One assumed college professor wrote, “this is why my college students are entirely unprepared.”

“Do you think this style might impact them in later education?” another questioned.

Another disagreed with Pina’s rules and wrote, “idk... it's important to be on time in life, if they can have a fully charged cell phone, they can charge their computer for school, syllabi should be encouraged for communication reasons, food can be a mess, distracting, allergies. But I'm not a teacher, just my humble not asked opinion.”

Even though Pina’s controversial opinions on teaching caused quite the stir on social media, she is not done yet. She promises to go over her bathroom policy, seating chart rules, and her stance on extra copies in another video. Stay tuned!

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