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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

'I care about the success of my students,' embattled Pasco teacher says



Much has been said, pro and con, about the teaching methods of Pasco County high school English teacher Michael Maynard.

Some of his students and their parents complained about Maynard's off-color comments, prompting superintendent Kurt Browning to move to suspend and reassign him from River Ridge High. Almost immediately, Maynard's fans responded to say the detractors simply didn't get how good a teacher he is. Days later, the Florida Department of Education recognized Maynard's success with students.

Maynard largely remained quiet, though he did encourage his backers through social media to speak out on his behalf. Now, he's offered some insights into his approach. While he might have made some missteps, Maynard said via email, he had his students' best interest at heart:

"The many testimonials from my former students and now this letter from the Florida Department of Education begs the question...What is really going on? I just wanted you to know that my teaching skills extend beyond AP. Whether my students were freshmen, sophomores or at-risk juniors, I have worked tirelessly to give them the greatest opportunity possible. Over 25 teachers and administrators throughout the District have had me teach their children, without a single complaint. Some of these teachers and administrators have had more than one child come through my classroom. 

"It is true, I have challenged some administrators, but only when I strongly believed they were going to act in a manner detrimental to the success of my students. Teaching is a full contact sport. Sometimes I might foul, or step off-sides, or call a bad play. Nevertheless, at the end of the season I have consistently coached my kids to the highest academic success in the District and in the State. I care about the success of my students. And caring means you give the students what they need and that is not always what they want."

Maynard has indicated he plans to attend Tuesday's School Board meeting. Could be interesting.

[Last modified: Friday, February 26, 2016 9:56am]


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