Murphy Sacked for Lack of Objective


Samuel Reich

Murphy being dragged out of her classroom by Patrick Rock.

Samuel Reich, Staff Writer

Alison Murphy, an English teacher here at Wheat Ridge High School, was sacked yesterday for failing to put a class objective up on the board for her 6th period AP Literature class. After a student called the administration to notify them of the problem mid-class, Assistant Principal Patrick Rock hurriedly rounded some school security guards together and rushed down to the room, where he announced the termination of Murphy’s post as a teacher and personally escorted her out of the building.

Murphy was giving an in-depth lecture on literary elements, book analyzation techniques, essay-writing strategies, reading comprehension, and how to pass the AP test with flying colors, when senior Ian Miller realized she had overlooked writing a class objective on the board. “The moment I stepped into the room, I knew something was out of place,” he said afterwards. “Of course, I certainly was learning a huge number of things about literature and how to do well on the AP test–I always do in that class–but that’s obviously beside the point. When I realized Mrs. Murphy hadn’t put an objective on the board, I was mortified. I quickly requested a bathroom break and rushed out of the room to call security.”

In a few minutes, Rock, backed by some school security, stepped into the room to notify Murphy that she was fired, immediately escorting her out without letting her say goodbye to her students or even grab her possessions. “I was sorry to see her go,” said Rock in an interview later, simultaneously wiping a tear from his eye with one hand and rubbing the sweat off his bald pate with the other. “But because of what she did, we really had no other choice. How can someone teach without an objective on the board? It’s unthinkable, it’s impossible! This is an elemental–maybe even the most important–part of teaching, and teachers overlooking it can be met with nothing short of being fired.”

Murphy, interviewed this morning in the DMV while waiting to get her driver’s license renewed–she wasn’t allowed to grab her purse on the way out of the class–had a disconsolate, mournful air about her. “I knew that not writing a class objective was wrong,” she said dejectedly. “I was just so busy getting ready to teach these kids everything they need to know about literature and the AP test that I got carried away and didn’t make it a priority. Now I know that teaching them well is really less important than making sure I have a clear objective up on the board. I just wish I had realized that before I lost my job.”

Lance Austin, a social studies teacher on the Farm experienced in the art of writing class objectives, sighed and shook his head at the mention of Murphy’s demise. “I always knew it would happen one day to one of our teachers,” he said. “Even though we all know that class objectives are what really matter in teaching kids material, the temptation to overlook this and just focus on actually teaching is very easy to fall into.” When asked how he avoids such a major mistake, he laughed. “It’s easy. I just worked really hard my first year of teaching to draft a document with a really great objective for each day of the year, and I’ve used that same one all the 39 years since then. Because they’re so good, I don’t even need to teach–I just sit around all day with my students and crack jokes, and this completely satisfies the admin.”

“This is what we want to see in a classroom,” said Rock approvingly of Austin’s class. “We need students to have a fixed destination point in their class material, whether or not they actually get to that destination. Lance runs an exceptionally functional classroom, and he should be an example for all the teachers in the school.”

Murphy had been teaching at Wheat Ridge High School for 34 years before she was fired. She hopes to find a position in one of the many private firms in Wheat Ridge that teach yoga to sumo wrestlers.